Happy Winter Solstice !❄❄
Joel Philip Myers
Winter 1, 1984.
MAD champions artists, designers, and artisans, presenting contemporary art and design through a craft lens. The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields—presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work.
Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.
Happy Winter Solstice !❄❄
Joel Philip Myers
Winter 1, 1984.
“I make things I hope people can laugh at and yet take seriously. I use my work as a platform to express my reactions to things I see around me; I use humor in my work to make the serious nature of those things bearable.”- Jewelry artist J. Fred Woell.
In the 1960s master jeweler, J. Fred Woell rejected the status quo and led the way for art jewelers to come. Woell used found objects like bottle tops, beer cans, logos, and cartoon imagery to create jewelry that spoke against the waste and excess in American culture.
In Woell’s piece The Good Guys, featured in our current collection exhibition, 45 Stories in Jewelry: 1947 to Now, a tree of life made from cheap materials and is set into a gold-colored background, recalling a religious icon; tiny portraits of comic-book saviors hang from the branches.
The artist once said: ”This pendant is an assemblage of three buttons of comic strip heroes mounted as if they were sacred icons.... I like satire. In this work I tried to intensify its bizarre sacrosanct absurdity by use of commonplace material which has no intrinsic value."
J. Fred Woell
The Good Guys, 1966
Walnut, steel, copper, plastic, silver, gold leaf
“This glass artist’s compact mid-career survey at the Museum of Arts & Design, titled “Collective Elegy,” is a seductive, cinematic affair, well suited to Lipman’s themes and to her glittering, translucent medium.” - Johanna Fateman on Beth Lipman’s Collective Elegy for The New Yorker.
Experience Lipman’s examination of the interdependence and tension between humanity and the natural world now through August 15.
We are excited to host another Music at MAD session tomorrow, Saturday, December 19 from 2 - 5 pm ET, featuring the series’ artist directors, American cellist Laura Metcalf, and Australian classical guitarist Rupert Boyd, also known as Boyd Meets Girl Duo.
The award-winning duo known for their eclectic style will play some of their favorites during the pop-up performance including Debussy, Messiaen, Beyonce, and more, in our fifth-floor gallery featuring Brian Clarke: The Art of Light.
We are saddened by the recent passing of Dorthy Gill Barnes. Known for her innovative basket work and wood sculptures, the #MADCollection artist only worked with materials that she accessed herself. Whether it be bark, branches, or roots, she was always "respectful of her materials." Often the artist would only utilize trees in her area that were already scheduled for removal, hoping to decrease the impact on the environment.
Barnes also created raised bark drawings, which she called "dendroglyphs. She would use a knife to cut a pattern into the bark of a tree and return one to two years later ( although in one instance, she waited 14 years) to see what had formed on the raised scar tissue of the tree. Inspired by the bark's natural transition, she would wait to see the result before deciding how she would create with it.
Ailanthus and Palm Fiber, 1982.
Ailanthus bark, willow, palm fiber; woven, twill woven
❄️ SNOW DAY❄️ - time to break out those woolly socks!
Due to the inclement weather, MAD is closed today, Thursday, December 17. Take some time to enjoy the season’s first snow. ⛄️
Wool, wood, watercolor, Plexiglas
In a year filled with uncertainty, one thing that has remained constant is the support of the MAD community. We are grateful for your generosity and commitment to our mission. Together, we found new ways to gather and experience art, and because of your willingness to adapt, we succeeded in supporting more than 175 artists through our virtual programs.
MAD is committed to connecting you directly with artists, offering opportunities every day for you to deepen your engagement with some of today’s most talented emerging and established craft artists and designers. As 2020 ends, we hope you will consider a year-end donation.
This Museum is a home for makers—amateurs, aspiring, and accomplished. Through the generosity of art lovers like you, MAD will remain a welcoming and inclusive center of art, craft, and design for all.
Click the link below to learn the different ways you show your support.
We’re #MADlyGrateful for MADArtistStudios 2020 artist Dance Doyle.
During her career, multidisciplinary artist and art consultant Cheryl Riley has created wall art, installations, site-specific public artworks, custom lighting, furniture designs. And she started designing jewelry after making her first piece to wear for the opening of MAD’s Global Africa Project, curated by Lowery Sims. Since then, Riley often includes jewelry as a medium in her work. Her art explores similarities between seemingly disparate cultures viewed through the lens of gender, history, rituals, implements, and symbols.
Tomorrow at 2 pm ET, Riley will join associate curator Barbara Paris Gifford for the online conversation series, In the MAD Loupe, which spotlights artists who are the future of contemporary art jewelry. Hear directly from Riley about her multidisciplinary art practice. Learn about her journey toward jewelry and its implications for a more inclusive field in the future. Get a sneak peek at what’s currently on her bench before asking your questions during the interactive Q&A.
Click the link below to register:
Image 1: Selection from Sculptures in the Form of Necklaces by Cheryl Riley
Photo: Tatsuro Nishimura
Image 2: Photo of Cheryl Riley by Jonathon Andre’ Beckles
Happy Birthday to potter and MAD Collection artist Hideaki Miyamura.
“As a young potter’s apprentice in Japan, I spent years throwing and perfecting forms, to the point that my hands and body could create without the intervention of my conscious mind. When I began to consider my work in an intentional and creative way, I was driven by a quest to create new glazes. In Japan, I performed thousands of experiments with different materials and firing temperatures to achieve an iridescent glaze reminiscent of ancient Chinese yohen tenmoku tea bowls, dark and mysterious in a way that reminded me of a clear night’s endless sky. Coming to the United States thirty years ago to pursue my life as an artist, I knew that my forms and glazes needed to enhance each other."
Miyamura is inspired by the Chinese pottery tradition, specifically the iridescent glazes of the Song dynasty. While Miyamura continues to test thousands of different recipes, in the end, what’s most important to him is that there is a sense of balance between the piece and its surroundings.
Vase with Peacock Glaze, 2004.
When lockdown started, MAD Artist Studios artist Rhonda Weppler spent time casting an heirloom necklace to share with family members. This quarantine project kicked-off a new interest in lockets, and like any good obsession, eventually, lead to inexpensive trawling on eBay.
Tomorrow at 12: 30 pm, Weppler joins associate curator of public programs, Lydia Brawner, for a lunchtime unboxing of her antique treasures, and a deep dive into jewelry and design history on Instagram Live. A little bit holiday shopping, a little bit Antiques Roadshow!
While Brian Clarke is one of today's leading stained-glass artists, he considers painting his core practice. He has said, “It is through painting that I understand how to view architecture, appreciate the rhythm of a poem, draw pleasure from the structure of a well-composed sentence. And it is through painting that the complexity of music makes itself understood to me. It is through painting, in fact, that I am."
Visit our Online Learning Lab to learn more about Clarke, his inspirations, and practice. Link in the bio.
And be sure to book your timed tickets for Brian Clarke: The Art of Light now on view through February 21.
Beth Lipman’s Distill series features small-scale dioramas cast in metal containing ancient flora like conifer, lichen, and ferns along with miniature furniture and domestic objects. The small scale scenes depict decaying domestic interiors overgrown with elements of the natural world. The scenes initiate a conversations between prehistoric and present day geological time periods and reinforce the nature’s longevity despite humanity’s impact.
View this piece and more now on view in Beth Lipman: Collective Elegy.
Distill # 21, 2015
Cast iron with plating
Our Music at MAD series continues tomorrow with the MET Orchestra Musicians' first violinist, Daniel Khalikov, and principal viola Milan Milisavljević. While we’re unable to see these award-winning artists at the opera at this time, we invite you to enjoy a pop-up performance in the gallery.
Performances take place Saturdays between 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm EST on the hour and half-hour following the Museum’s safe social-distancing practices and are free with museum admission
Daniel Khalikov + Milan Milisavljevic
W.A. Mozart: Duo for violin and viola
Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate! Tonight marks the first night of the Jewish festival of lights.
The +/- hot plate (Hebrew, Memphis and Zen) features a Hebrew blessing for life and bounty, is not only beautiful but also functional - a perfect way to keep your latkes nice and warm!
When designing the piece, designers Dov Ganchrow and Ami Drach used the conducive properties of silk-screened gold or ‘amorphic’ metal films in the same manner print circuit boards or car windshield defrosters work. You hook up the plate to an electrical source, and the current will run through the ‘decoration,’ keeping food warm.
Ganchrow and Drach decided not to let the technology fade into the product, but instead, they used it to bring a unique graphic language to life featuring decorations that gave a hint to their reason for being.
Dov Ganchrow and Ami Drach
+/- hot plate (Hebrew, Memphis and Zen), 2003.
Ready-made plate, ABS connector housing; conductive silkscreen printed
Hank Willis Thomas joins the latest edition of Luminaries Live! tonight at 6:30 pm ET. During the art-filled happy hour, Willis will reveal details about his practice, his collaborators, and his first major retrospective.
Don’t miss your chance to chat live with Willis while listening to his favorite holiday songs!
Click the link below to register:
This week’s #WCW is textile artist Cynthia Schira. The artist received a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and studied at École des Arts Décoratifs - Paris. Later, Schira earned an MFA from The University of Kansas, where she also a professor for almost twenty years. Throughout her career, Schira has experimented with various materials and designs in her weaving, including ikat dyed warp designs, aluminum, rayon ribbon, and pre-dyed tapes. However, she has always remained true to the traditional technique of flat tapestry hanging. Continuously looking for ways to incorporate modern influences, Schira was an early advocate of computer-based weaving programs. Much of her more recent work has incorporated digital information.
Near Eleuthera, 1986
Cotton, rayon, mixed fibers; woven (integrated triple cloth with painted warps)
Our friends at BOMB Magazine recently released their latest Oral History Project featuring Odili Donald Odita. Known for his geometric paintings, Odita, in conversation with MoMA The Museum of Modern Art curator Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, recalls growing up as a refuge from the Nigerian Civil War and his father's influence, a historian of African art.
Click below to read the full piece.
Tonight at 7 pm ET, MAD Artist Studios alum Natalia Arbelaez joins Chief Curator Elissa Auther and assistant curator Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy for an online conversation about sculpture, ceramics, and craft.
During tonight’s talk, Arbelaez will discuss the inspiration for her work. The artist explores stories of Amerindian identity, women of color, immigration, and colonization through the levity of quirky, sharp-toothed, grimacing figures inspired by Central and South American indigenous ceramics.
Arbelaez is one of the featured artists in Vizcarrondo-Laboy’s recent exhibition for the Center for Craft, Sleight of Hand, which brings together six contemporary artists using humor in ceramics as a tool of resistance, resilience, and healing, to navigate a range of pressing social issues.
Click the link in the bio to register.
Helen Britton uses botanicals to explore the relationship between urban environments and nature. Britton collects objects that no longer have a purpose and uses them in her work to give them new life. The artist created the piece Poison Island with vintage glass and freshwater pearls. The brooch is a garden-variety poisonous bloom depicted in etched metal, with a black Jolly Roger flag embedded in its leaves, warning of danger.
See this piece and more works now on view in 45 Stories in Jewelry: 1947 to Now. Click the link below to book your timed tickets.
Poison Island, 2006-07
Hand engraved and painted silver, vintage glass, freshwater pearls
Rising viola star Jordan Bak takes center stage at the Museum tomorrow as apart of our #MusicatMAD series curated by the Boyd Meets Girl Duo.
The Jamaican-American artist is establishing a standout career in the recital and chamber music arenas. Bak is a winner of the 2019 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, the recipient of the 2019 Samuel Sanders Tel Aviv Music Prize, and the 2019 Joh White Prize for the Tertis International Viola Competition.
The pop-up performance will take place from 2 - 5 pm, following the Museum’s social-distancing protocols, and is free with admission.
Jordan BakProkofiev: Romeo and Juliet Suite for viola and piano
Innovative glass artist Dominick Labino was born on this day in 1910. Originally trained as an engineer, Labino considered himself an inventor rather than an artist. Labino held sixty patents in the United States and hundreds around the world related to glass processes. His developments around heat-resistant glass fibers were used in NASA’s Gemini and Apollo spacecraft.
What are the similarities between a massive Gothic cathedral and the delicate design of a gold necklace? Between a ring set with precious gemstones and a contemporary art museum filled with great art?
This Saturday, at 2 pm ET, join us for a dialogue between architectural artist and painter Brian Clarke and artist-designers David and Sybil Yurman.
The online conversation on living creatively and creating art will be moderated by Paul Greenhalgh, curator of the current exhibition Brian Clarke: The Art of Light and Director of the @sainsburycentre.
Just for our MAD community, we're offering a 25% savings on tickets (use the promo code FRIENDS5). Click the link in the bio to register now!
#BrianClarke: The Art of Light is made possible by presenting sponsor David Yurman.
Exhibition film provided by the educational channel HENI Talks.
#WCW “Embroidery is to sewing what poetry is to prose.” - Mariska Karasz.
The fashion designer, fiber, and embroidery artist, Mariska Karasz, was born #OTD in 1898.
“Karasz learned embroidery as part of her schooling as a young girl living in Hungary in the early twentieth century. After immigrating to New York at the outbreak of World War I with her mother and sister, she found work as a fashion designer following her studies at the city's famed Traphagen School. Karasz’s designs often combined Hungarian folk motifs with contemporary Western styles, especially in the embroidered treatments of her garments. Moving to work on flat panels of fabric, the subjects of her work ranged from abstract to figurative. Karasz’s early upbringing in Hungary introduced her to the medium as a part of a national heritage. Her continual engagement with embroidery as an artistic act allowed her to expand and develop her own knowledge and ethos.
- Excerpt from curatorial assistant Alida Jekabson’s essay, “Embroidery as an Agent of Cultural Memory.”
Visit our Online Learning Lab to read the full piece in which Jekabson discusses how embroidery is used to make meaning from immigrant and refugee memory.
Elsa De Brun, 1947
Linen, wool; knitted, embroidered, sewn
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The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields—presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.