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From The Executive Director
06 Sep 2013

September 2013

Anne-Imelda Radice, PhD
Dear members and friends,
We have much good news. Bill Traylor: Drawings from the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and Traylor in Motion: Wonders from New York Collections, along with Recent Gifts, drew large audiences throughout the summer. There is no doubt that Bill Traylor’s artworks and life story proved especially compelling to local audiences and visitors from around the world. The exhibitions continue to elicit wonderful notices from journalists, also. I hope you will join us on Saturday, September 21, from 5 to 6 p.m., for a members-only reception and last look at these astonishing works of art before the shows close on September 22. The fall season will usher in an exhibition, opening October 1: alt_quilts: Sabrina Gschwandtner, Luke Haynes, Stephen Sollins. Luke Haynes works on a large scale and usually in series. He is best known for quilt portraits of famous figures, as well as his own friends, and for the use of a technique known as anamorphic perspective that creates the illusion of three dimensions. In his latest series he photographed friends attired in clothing they believed expressed their identities. Haynes then used the same clothes to make a quilt that visually replicated the photo shoot. In 2009 Sabrina Gschwandtner came into possession of a trove of archival industrial film footage related to the textile trades that was deaccessioned by FIT. Much of the footage features women engaged in various activities such as weaving and dyeing. Using this 16mm footage as readymade strips, the artist pieces together the filmstrips into Log Cabin and other geometric quilt patterns. The quilt is then framed and illuminated in a light box. And Stephen Sollins explores ideas about domesticity, privacy, and the limits of intimacy in his work, which employs used envelopes and Tyvek packaging as a medium. Two artworks on view faithfully and meticulously reproduce masterpiece quilts from the Museum’s collection, which will also be on view. This unique exhibition explores the blurred boundaries in art while also challenging perceptions about the meaning, nature, and role of quilts. Chief Curator Stacy C. Hollander organized alt_quilts, and we hope you will take the opportunity of joining her for a gallery tour on December 12. Check the Museum’s calendar for more information.

Dr. Valérie Rousseau, Curator, Art of the Self-Taught and Art Brut, will participate in a series of events, meetings, and conferences at the Outsider Art Fair Paris, which takes place October 24–27.

Rousseau has organized a full-day symposium on Bill Traylor’s life, career, and artworks, which takes place on September 16. This program sold out weeks ago and we are at capacity. However, we will be able to make the proceedings available, and ultimately, we will post video from this event on our website.

Which brings me to a piece of outstanding news: the Museum is the recipient of a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which will be used to expand and enhance our technological capacity and digital resources with emphasis on an updated web design and presence. This grant, in the amount of $137,462, will be matched by Museum funds.

We also gratefully acknowledge the Greater Hudson Heritage Network for providing funds that will help the Museum conserve the historic Cleveland-Hendricks Crazy Quilt, shown above.

We are completing plans for this year’s Fall Gala, which takes place on October 16, and are pleased that many of you will be able to attend. This star-studded evening, which will include a sneak-preview of the Museum’s January 2014 exhibition Folk Couture: Fashion and Folk Art, will honor the very distinguished Lucy Sykes, Fashion Consultant, Rent the Runway, and Brand Ambassador, and Dr. Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum at FIT. We thank our Chairs, Yaz and Valentín Hernández, and Laura and Richard Parsons, and Honorary Chair Betsy Bloomingdale. The inimitable Tim Gunn will serve as Host of the event. I am so grateful, also, to all those on our Benefit Committee, as well as to the many designers who will dazzle us with their creativity and talent. I do hope you will be able to join us. If you have not yet purchased a ticket, please consider participating. Funds raised support Museum activities and outreach.

We will have more good news in the next few weeks. I look forward to seeing you soon, at the Gala or, as always, at the Museum.


The Honorable Anne-Imelda Radice, PhD
Executive Director

Image: Photo by Gavin Ashworth.