Quilts? What? You thought this was a photo blog, didn't you? Well it is but when something remarkable happens it's important that I bring it to your attention.
I've learned from past experience that when my friend Peter Vanderwarker says to go see a show, he means it and I should follow his recommendation. In his recent email he was very excited about the show at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts called "Quilts and Color" up now through July 27. These are quilts from the Pilgrim/Roy Collection, by the way.
So I went. It is downstairs in the new wing, under the cafe'. This is where they tend to put contemporary shows as the galleries are new and very state of the art. The Quilts show reminded me right off why the MFA is a world class museum.
Because these magnificent creations are displayed with wonderful light in dark rooms that are quiet, meditative spaces, perfect for looking and really seeing the quilts. No glass over them, no frames, just hung on the walls, mostly with black around them but sometimes with a complimentary color:
Wall descriptions and texts are minimal and helpful. This is one kick-ass show that will simply blow your socks off.
Like color? This show is color. Like design? Ditto. Like form? Same. Like texture? Yes. Complexity and simplicity, crucial and soothing, loving and warm, these are descriptions that come to my mind. Think about how these were made, what the quilt's function is, what it means to its maker and the family that owned it. Then think about how this art form comes from every day people and where these quilts hang now. Most of the quilts were made in the 19th century but let's be clear this is an American art form and these incredible quilts were made by women.
The collector, Gerald Roy, quotes one of the quilt makers. She says, "I make my quilts as fast as I can so my children won't freeze and as beautiful as I can so my heart won't break".
"You will not see a more beautiful show anywhere in New England. What a bliss-out."—The Boston Globe
Stressed out? Bummed? Get bad news today? Your job suck? Your faith in humanity at an all time low? Your belief in things getting better shattered by current events? Believe the world is going to hell in a hand basket?
I got very bad news yesterday just before going to see this show. My application for a Guggenheim Fellowship was denied, once again. The application is a great deal of work and it requires four recommendations from top people in your field. There were 3000 applications and 178 winners. My application was as good as I could make it and the people who wrote on my behalf were very important people in photography. I was bummed. I went to the "Quilts and Color" show and things were okay again, they really were.
Go see this show.