MAD + FAB

Museum of Arts and Design, MAD, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, FWM, worthwhile museums to visit, what’s happening in New York, art exhibitions, Both And, The Art of the Mannequin, Pathmakers, influential women in art,

A recent trip to The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), and a first-time visit to the The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) in Philadelphia yielded unexpected pleasures.

While the big museums in New York and Philadelphia get the most press and the mass appeal shows, the smaller, intimate museums are housing the more interesting work. MAD and FWM are intimate, and manageable in a few hours for the time-constrained. And both have curated fantastic exhibits that spark the imagination and challenge the mind.

Museum of Arts and Design, MAD, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, FWM, worthwhile museums to visit, what’s happening in New York, art exhibitions, Both And, The Art of the Mannequin, Pathmakers, influential women in art,

At The Museum of Arts and Design, Ralph Pucci’s The Art of the Mannequin exhibit was a standout. As a designer who is hailed for his innovative approach to the form of the mannequin, Pucci began honing his craft in the early 70s.

Pucci looked to classical sculpture and costume design as inspiration to create distinctive forms that both define and affect culture. They’re beautiful artworks and reveal great stories about past eras and current trends. The bonus is a peek into his studio, which has been recreated onsite.

Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today is another great showing. This exhibit focuses on the important contributions women made to modernism in the postwar era. In the 1950s and 60s, when the arts were male-dominated, women made considerable impact using alternative materials such as textiles, ceramics, and metals. Eva Zeisel’s works are particularly striking and visionary.

Museum of Arts and Design, MAD, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, FWM, worthwhile museums to visit, what’s happening in New York, art exhibitions, Both And, The Art of the Mannequin, Pathmakers, influential women in art,

Ninety or so miles south, Both/And Richard Tuttle Print and Cloth at The Fabric Workshop and Museum is quite spectacular. Spanning more than 60 years of this contemporary American artist’s work, this installation combines two earlier shows and features both Tuttle’s textile and print work, while premiering his new kimono work, Extraordinary.

Tuttle’s vision encompasses many forms: Painting, sculpture, poetry, assemblage, drawing, and printmaking. The accompanying brochure pairs the work on view with the artist’s poems that were inspired by his pieces.

The work at both museums is definitely extraordinary in its imaginative executions and in its overall impact both in its time, and on future artists and movements.

Seen any exhibits lately worth a visit? Let me know.

Photos + animations: © 2015 Janet Giampietro

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