Smithsonian Renwick “Connections” Opens July 1, 2016

renwickThis summer the permanent collection returns to the Smithsonian Museum’s Renwick Gallery with a dynamic new presentation of 80+ objects celebrating craft as a discipline and an approach to living differently in the modern world.

       

The installation, titled “Connections” will include iconic favorites alongside new acquisitions made during the museum’s renovation, which will be displayed at the museum for the first time. Nora Atkinson, The Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, selected the objects and conceived the innovative presentation. Atkinson’s arrangement breaks from typical display formats based on chronology or material to instead focus on the interconnectivity of objects and the overlapping stories they tell.

Steven Young Lee, "Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs" 2014

Steven Young Lee, Vase with Landscape and Dinosaurs, 2014, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Richard Fryklund, Giselle and Ben Huberman, David and Clemmer Montague, and museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art

In selecting both pioneering and contemporary pieces, Atkinson selections also explore the underlying current of craft as a balancing, humanistic force in the face of an ever-more efficiency-driven, virtual world. The exhibition highlights the evolution of the craft field as it transitions into a new phase at the hands of contemporary artists, showcasing the activist values, optimism, and uninhibited approach of today’s young artists, which in some way echoes the communal spirt and ideology of the pioneers of the American Studio Craft Movement in their heyday.

         

The artworks range from the 1930’s through today and span numerous media. New acquisitions such as John Grade’s Shoal (Bone Shoal Sonance), Judith Schaechter’s The Birth of Eve, Marie Watt’sEdson’s Flag, and Akio Takamori’s Woman and Child make their debut in the gallery while seminal works including Wendell Castle’s Ghost Clock, Karen LaMonte’s Reclining Dress Impression with Drapery, Albert Paley’s Portal Gates, and Lenore Tawney’s Box of Falling Stars return to view.

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