Tagged Art

Modern Quilters

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via Design Houston – Modernism emerges in quilting world

Is there such a thing as a hobby-crush? Because I have a hobby-crush on modern quilters. And as soon as I finish up my current sewing projects, I’m going to finally take a running leap into the quilting circle.

I’ve made two t-shirt quilts, so I understand the basic concept of how to make a quilt. But I’ve always wanted to design and sew my own quilt. It’s on my list of 101 things, and I have a whole Pinterest board dedicate to quilts that I love! I love quilts because they are so cozy, and they can be used anywhere – wrapped up on the couch, laid out at the beach, or draped over the end of a bed.

I’ve recently been very intrigued by modern quilters – which makes sense for me – it’s like graphic design in quilt form! Colors and compositions and weight and patterns. It’s all the same whether it’s on a screen, a canvas, or a quilt.

Here are some quilts that have been inspiring me lately:

Colorful quilt by Anna Maria Horner

This one is the quilt that really did me in.  I believe I “pinned” this image to my board with a caption that went something like “THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN.” Consider me inspired.

Meg Callahan Quilt

Meg Callahan Ada Quilt

Meg Callahan was the first modern quilter I came across and she’s amazing! Look at all the symmetry!

Scrappy Lone Star from the Modern Quilters Guild

I love this one by Janice Ryan of the Modern Quilters Guild! It takes the elements of the classic patchwork quilt and the modern colors, weighting, and composition make a fun and punchy quilt.

Tangled by Robert Kaufman

This awesome intertwined quilt is a pattern that will be available in September through Robert Kaufman.

Bolt and Bias Quilt

Move over teddy bears and ballerinas. This baby quilt by Etsy seller Bolt & Bias is beautiful!

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Quilt by Angela Flicker – The Artists House

This colorful one is AMAZING!! I would love to attempt something like this quilt by Angela Flicker. She made this one for the Temporary Museum of Permanent Change and Craft Lake City’s gallery exhibit titled, “Celebration of the Hand”. Her Flickr photostream is full of other amazing examples of her work.

Now I just need to finish the projects I’ve already started!!

The Cloisters Museum

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When you enter the Cloisters Art Museum you’ll leave Manhattan and step into a little piece of Europe. Located in Fort Tryon Park in Upper Manhattan, the Cloisters Museum is a medieval art museum. The museum is a blend of paintings, architecture, sculptures, artifacts, and stained glass. With several courtyards, you’ll wander in and out of doors admiring everything from sunshine-laden stained glass windows to dark rooms protecting tapestries featuring mythical beasts.

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A cafe in one of the courtyards at The Cloisters

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Books + Illumination. My medieval profession of choice.

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A tapestry in the Unicorn Room

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Where: The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park, New York City

When: Open 7 Days a Week, 10am-5:15pm

Why: The Cloisters was the collection of George Grey Barnard, who had a personal passion for medieval art. The Cloisters has been a part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1925. There are countless vivid stained glass windows, altarpieces, paintings, and statues. Downstairs in the “treasures” room are smaller pieces – and definitely worth the time. See some amazing illuminated books, and even a modified deck of playing cards.

Of Note: Don’t miss the Unicorn Room. Yes, you read that correctly. There is a whole room of medieval tapestries portraying hordes of men attacking the frightful mythical beast. There is even (what they believed to be) a unicorn horn on display. (Which is actually the tusk of a Narwhal.) Also, the Cloisters Museum has multiple courtyards (including one with a cafe) for milling about and enjoying the sunshine. (It’s always nice when art museums have pleasurable places to sit down. My feet need a break every once in a while.) Also, from the front of the building is a large terrace with beautiful views of the Hudson River.

Admission: $25 “recommended”, which means you can give whatever you choose. (I gave $10.)
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All the credit for this afternoon goes out to my lovely tour-guide of a sister-in-law! We spent about three hours exploring The Cloisters, as well as some of the nearby Fort Tryon Park. We spent the rest of the beautiful and sunny afternoon walking through Central Park and then a fantastic dinner at Greek restaurant Kefi. I was in NYC for business, and managed to also eat at Rosa Mexicano (legit table-side guacamole service) and the Empire Hotel Rooftop (you’ll have to lurk for a seat but the views are worth it)! I recommend them all!

The city of a million restaurants!

Medieval art isn’t my favorite, but this museum was worth the trip. What’s your favorite type of art?

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

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The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum feels more like you’re traipsing through Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s home than an art museum near Fenway. For precisely this reason, it’s a must-go on my list. This unusual museum was the home of Isabella Stewart Gardner. She was an avid art collector in the early 1900s, who set up the museum in her Fenway home and ordered it to be left exactly as it is – which is how you’ll view it today. There are no white gallery walls with succinct wall plaques to identify the beautiful Gothic and Renaissance pieces the house holds.No photos are allowed in the museum, so I’ll be sharing images from the Gardner Museum website.

The Courtyard

The Raphael Room

The Short Gallery

The Little Salon

The Dutch Room

The Spanish Cloisters

Where: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA

When: Open daily 11:00am–5:00pm, Thursday until 9:00pm

Highlights: There are a number of large-scale paintings by John Singer Sargent, including a portrait of Ms. Gardner herself that was deemed so “scandalous” it was hidden from public view during her lifetime by her husband. Don’t miss the beautiful ceiling painting in the Italian Room and the Michelangelo and Raphael sketches hidden behind paneling. The glass courtyard is a beauty to behold with constantly rotating foliage to admire. There are a number of non-art artifacts as well, including a hand-written letter by George Washington.

Of Note: In 1990 a number of works in the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum were stolen, and the robbery remains the largest theft of all time. The thieves stole a Vermeer, 3 Rembrandts, a Manet, 5 Degas, and several other items, amounting to $500 million in art. Several of the frames remain empty on the walls of the museum to this day.

Things to Know: The museum is quite dark inside to protect the artwork. We went on a Thursday night, and the added daylight from the windows would have been helpful in a few rooms. This is cell-phone free museum, you’ll want to keep it tucked away, or one of the many lurking docents will kindly ask you to. Public transportation recommended, as parking in this area of the city is notoriously difficult.

Admission: $15/adult. Free if your name is Isabella. $5/adult if you purchase your tickets through a local library.

 

The G Cafe inside the museum looks lovely, and gets great reviews. However, we were there at closing time, so we walked around West Fens and tested out a great sushi/hot pot place instead – Swish Shabu. It garnered two sushi-sized thumbs up from all of us!

Does art theft fascinate you as much as it does me?

The Art Institute of Chicago

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I have a habit of taking lots of pictures in art museums of all my favorite pieces. I’ve dragged my husband to more art museums than I’d like to admit. If I am ever in a new city I always try to make a stop into new, or favorite, museums.

I thought it would be a fun addition to the blog if I shared my reviews of art museums as I visit them throughout the year! I’ll start with the Chicago Institute of Art.

artinchicagoA personal favorite – the Chagall window

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Where: The Art Institute of Chicago

When: Open daily 10:30am–5:00pm, Thursday until 8:00pm

Highlights: “American Gothic”, by Grant Wood, (seen above, farmers) is one of the more popular pieces in this Chicago museum, as is the “Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, by Seurat (seen above with children sitting on the floor). The Art Institute of Chicago has a sizable Impressionism collection, and a wonderful Modern collection as well. It unfortunately was under construction during my last visit, but opens this month. The museum reconstructed the Chicago Stock Exchange Room (from the 1890s) in one of it’s wings. It was beautiful and, away from the popular pieces, it’s quite quiet! It’s located near the Chagall window, which, is one of my personal favorites.

Things to Know: Mornings can be quite busy with field trips (which can be quite annoying, as they tend to hop to and crowd out the most famous pieces in the museum). One of museum’s cafes is located in the courtyard, which is both quiet and beautiful!

Admission: $23.00 for an adult (Admission is free to Illinois residents on Thursdays from 5-8pm)

artinchicago2If you go, be sure to check out the outdoor installations in neighboring Millennium Park. Chicago can always be counted on for fantastic public art.

Have you been to the Art Institute of Chicago? What’s your favorite art museum?

LACMA Gets Dressed Up: Diane Von Furstenberg Exhibit

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Fashionista I am not, but even I am familiar with Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress.

My dear friend I was visiting had been to the Journey of a Dress exhibit at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) and thought I would enjoy it – she was right! The exhibit celebrates the 40th anniversary of Von Furstenberg’s brand.

The exhibit is made up of three halls – one central hallway features large-scale photographs that tell the story of the dress and its inclusion in pop culture throughout its lifetime. (Everyone from a 1970s Sharon Stone to modern-day First Lady Michelle Obama.

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The second is an art gallery where Diane Von Furstenberg served as a muse to many famous artists. Many of you will recognize the famous series done by Andy Warhol. Fewer of you will recognize the haunting series of portraits done by Chuck Close (one of my personal favorite artists).

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The third is the Wrap Room – a large room where many dresses are displayed, organized by theme. The dress truly transcends time, as many of the original patterns I could easily see women wear today. Only the size and shape of lapels and cuffs gave any indication of decade.

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The concept of the wrap dress is simple, yet revolutionary. Truly a sign of the times when it came to the changing culture of women in the workforce. The dress, which wraps around the torso and ties at the waist, featured no tricky zippers, easily transitions from day to night, and work to play. A piece of fabric that is symbolic of the modern woman.

“For the women of the land had gone to work. Heigh-ho! It was the 70’s, and en masse, they left their sculleries and their hearths for careers in finance, law and other fields that had been the province of men… They went straight from the office out to dinner, they went around the world, washing the dress at night in their hotel room’s bathroom sink.”  – Holly Brubach, Fashion Historian

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The entire hall itself is attractive and exciting – from the hot pink walls of the entry way, to the funky floors mimicking the patterns from the textiles.

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The Journey of a Dress exhibit will be at the LACMA until April 1, 2014 and should you be in the L.A. area I’d certainly recommend checking it out!

Entrance to this particular exhibit is free. Parking at the LACMA is $10. For parents, if you register your child with the LACMA, your child and you (one parent) can get into any exhibit for free.