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Baltimore Museum of Art presents extraordinary art quilts on view for the first time
Elizabeth Talford Scott. Plantation. 1980. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Collectors Circle Fund for Art by African Americans, Baltimore Appliqué Society Fund, and purchased as the gift of the Joshua Johnson Council, and Mr. and Mrs. Irvin Greif, Jr., Lutherville, Maryland, BMA 2012.226.


BALTIMORE, MD.- The Baltimore Museum of Art presents five striking late- 20th century art quilts on view for the first time. On view December 16, 2015–June 19, 2016, New Arrivals: Art Quilts is one of nine exhibitions in a series celebrating the museum’s enormously successful Campaign for Art. The intricately designed, vibrant quilts were created for display on the wall, rather than a bed, by some of the nation’s most acclaimed textile artists, including Baltimore-native Adrien Rothschild, currently based in Pennsylvania, and the late Elizabeth Scott, who lived in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

Scott’s esoterically appliquéd and stitched Plantation (1980) gives an abstract depiction of both the night sky and the furrowed earth as remembered from her childhood in South Carolina. Rothschild—influenced by the paintings of her mother, Amalie Rothschild, and the work of M.C. Escher—created Purple Mountains (1991), an abstractly pictorial quilt of forested mountains, sky, and sun that synthesizes her love of color and geometric design.

The intimate exhibition features works by the foremost proponent of the art quilt, Michael James. James trained as a painter and print maker but was inspired by an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American art to change his medium. His stunning Metamorphosis (1983) quilt plays with color transitions and the transformation of space. Another painter turned quilt artist, Pamela Studstill, is represented by an elaborately pieced and painted quilt, #76 (1988), which is accompanied by the original commission drawing and fabric swatches.

The most adventurous quilt is Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade’s Marsh Island (1986). This work challenges the traditional definition of quilts by blending architectural and textile elements for a triptych composed of painted plywood panels surrounding dye-painted and quilted cloth insets.

The exhibition is curated by Curator of Textiles Anita Jones.






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