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35th year celebration at SJ Museum of Quilts & Textiles
02
Jan '13
The San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles—the first in the United States to focus exclusively on quilts and textiles—commemorates its thirty-five year anniversary with a large survey exhibition, Collecting Treasures: Celebrating 35 Years. Drawn exclusively from our permanent collection, it showcases important early and historic quilts, recent acquisitions of contemporary fiber art, as well as ethnic costume and textiles.

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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