Recognizing and celebrating the longevity, tenacity, and evolution of the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, Collecting Treasures: Celebrating 35 Years is not only a celebration of the museum’s history, but also presents a fascinating variety of textiles at the core of the Museum’s collection of over 850 objects.
The seventy-five works on display present artistic elegance, beautiful craftsmanship, historical importance, and/or hold a unique significance within the collection. The exhibit is loosely organized around themes and styles, including:
-Some of the oldest quilts in the collection, dating from the 1880s through 1930s
-Crazy quilts, silk quilts, and pieced stars
-politically charged and contemporary textiles
-A survey of rich textile production and traditions from around the world, including: Bedouin, Chinese (Hmong), Guatemalan, Indonesian, Japanese, Kuna Indian, Nigerian, Palestinian, Panamanian, Romanian, San Blas Islands, and Yemenis.
Collecting Treasures: Celebrating 35 Years has also been a collaborative effort. A team of advisors surveyed the permanent collection, including: Gloria Debs Kahn, a museum founder and past director; quilt historian Nancy Bavor; Collections Manager Joyce Hulbert; Curator Deborah Corsini; and Executive Director Christine Jeffers. Highlights of the objects this team selected include:
-The first quilt accessioned into the collection (a Crazy Quilt, 1883-1884).
-A quilt by the wife of Francis Scott Key, author of “The Star Spangled Banner” (Grandmother’s Flower Garden by Mary Tayloe Lloyd Key).
-A woven piece with a poignant message on the Gulf War but applicable to today’s ongoing conflicts (Weep for the World, 1991 by Mary Balzer Buskirk)
-Drawing on the presidential election theme, a quilt with humorous caricatures of forty-two presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush (Presidents, by Dorothy Vance)
-A never-before-exhibited, oversized ritual dance costume from the Yoruba people of West Africa (The Egungun Ceremonial Garment).
-A contemporary ritual textile inspired by traditional Japanese by Yvonne Porcella (Firebird Kimono).
A small exhibition catalog, Collecting Treasures: Celebrating 35 Years will also commemorate this landmark exhibition, and will include a selection of photographs, curatorial essay, and a complete object list among other informative text.
This exhibition, catalog, and related programs are funded in part by Wendy Bear; Sandra and Bob Duncan; Amy Higuchi; Joan Hughes; Gloria Debs Kahn and Sam Kahn; Susan Maresco; Therese May; Sylvia Moore in honor of the Museum Founder's Circle of SCVQA; Fiber Art Now Magazine; Janome; Piece O'Cake; the David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Arts Council Silicon Valley in partnership with the County of Santa Clara; the City of San Jose; and the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association.
The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
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