Installation view of Timeless Weft: Ancient Tapestries and The Art of Louise B. Wheatley. Photo by Mitro Hood.
Installation view of Timeless Weft: Ancient Tapestries and The Art of Louise B. Wheatley. Photo by Mitro Hood.

Exhibition celebrates the decades-long career of the Maryland artist and her appreciation of weaving in ancient societies and old traditions

BALTIMORE, MD (February 7, 2017)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents Timeless Weft: Ancient Tapestries and The Art of Louise B. Wheatley, an intimate exhibition that celebrates the more than 40-year career of Maryland artist Louise B. Wheatley. Internalizing the lessons of ancient masters, represented by Coptic textile fragments from the museum’s collection, Wheatley creates art that is unmistakably a reflection of her own unique vision and her self-imposed sense of technical perfection. The exhibition is on view in the Jean and Allan Berman Gallery through July 30, 2017.

In her late teens, Wheatley forged a connection with Pre-Columbian and Egyptian Coptic textiles. Years later, the artist began spinning and weaving, emulating the practices of ancient predecessors. Her admiration for the colors of antique textiles inspired her lifelong quest to learn about vegetable dyes by growing dye plants in her own garden and processing them by hand. Her desire to understand fibers led her to grow and harvest cotton and flax, as well as raise her own sheep for wool. Some of Wheatley’s works recall the composition and methods of Coptic textiles, including intricate and technically difficult border designs and the use of specific weaving techniques. Less directly, Wheatley emulates their brilliant colors, connection to nature, celebration of earth’s fertility, and exploration of philosophical and religious thought.

This exhibition is curated by Anita Jones, Curator of Textiles, and supported by the Estate of Margaret Hammond Cooke.

About the Baltimore Museum of Art

Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.

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