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San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design to Open Three Concurrent Exhibitions
Fred Ball, Juke Box Boogie Woogie Oakland Terminal, 1974, Torch-fired enamel on copper.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- The San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design presents three concurrent exhibits July 24 through October 4, 2009 at its 550 Sutter Street location in San Francisco. On view will be Silver of the Stars, The Millennium Collection for Bute House, and Fred Ball Enamels.

Silver of the Stars is a collection of contemporary silver made by some of Scotland’s finest artists and created in collaboration with 10 of the most glittering names from the worlds of film, fashion, theatre, music and literature. Michael Laing, the Deacon of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh, says: “The idea for Silver of the Stars was to find a way of uniting creative talent from many different disciplines. Scotland is in the unique position of fostering a community of world-class silversmiths and we have produced some of the biggest names in global entertainment. Included in the Silver of the Stars Collection are a stunning silver and gold quaich for Sir Sean Connery, a coffee set with reclaimed motorbike handles for Ewan McGregor, an absinthe goblet for fashion designer Alexander McQueen and a fringed and diamond studded teapot made in silver for Sharleen Spiteri. Other participating stars are Nicola Benedetti, Robbie Coltrane, Lulu, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Billy Connolly, and Ian Rankin.

The Millennium Collection for Bute House was created to celebrate the Millennium and to coincide with the return of a Scottish Parliament after almost 300 years. Fifteen artist-silversmiths were invited to contribute to the Collection, which is on permanent loan to the First Minister of Scotland and put to use for state occasions at Bute House, his official residence in Edinburgh. Frequently employed and regularly exhibited, the Collection is both functional and beautiful, exhibiting a breadth of design and craft skill that is a herald to the very best of Scotland’s contemporary art and artisans. Every piece in the collection also carries the special commemorative Millennium hallmark that could only be struck during 1999 and 2000. The Collection was the initiative of The Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh and is now owned by The Scottish Goldsmiths Trust, a charity set up to promote silversmithing in Scotland.

During Parliamentary recess The Millennium Collection has toured in the UK and abroad, including exhibitions in Prague, Paris, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. During 2007 The Millennium Collection was exhibited alongside Silver of the Stars in venues in London, St Petersburg, Beijing, Kyoto and New York. It is currently touring North America alongside the Silver of the Stars Collection, where it will show at the San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design, as well as venues in North Carolina, Victoria and Calgary.

Fred Ball Enamels, organized by the Enamel Arts Foundation, features a selection of thirty works created between 1964 and 1985 by one of this country’s pioneering enamelists. Viewed as highly unorthodox at the time, Ball’s experimental techniques -- which include torch firing, metal collage, and use of liquid enamel materials -- are admired today by many of the foremost leaders in the field. Ball is one of the artists credited with transforming enameling from its traditional association with small size and inherent preciousness, to a grand scale consistent with postwar painting and sculpture. Fred Ball Enamels is the first exhibition in over twenty years to explore this seminal artist’s work and is presented at the San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design in conjunction with the biennial meeting of the Enamelist Society in Oakland, August 7 – 9, 2009.

San Francisco Museum of Craft+Design | Nicola Benedetti | Robbie Coltrane | Lulu | Sir Cameron Mackintosh | Billy Connolly | Ian Rankin |

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