The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston recently opened an exhibit featuring a large quilt collection. Rather than going with the usual narrative of folk art or decorative art, they grouped quilts by color theory. Which was absolutely fascinating to me as modern color theory came after most of these quilts were made. It just goes to show how certain aspects of art seem to be innate.
I also really appreciated the way the exhibit was laid out. The walls were either dark and rich to allow the quilts to pop or a neutral color to let you see the theory for that grouping. Each section had an explanation of a particular theory with a corresponding work of art (mostly on paper but some paintings). It was a fantastic way to blend what’s often seen as a craft with modern art.
My favorite piece highlights the theory of gradation. The quilt is from the late 19th century, made in Massachusetts, and composed of cotton, silk, and silk velvet. Looking at it, you’d think it was from CB2 or some other modern boutique. But nope, it’s from 1879. The contrast of the dark diamonds with the gradations of blues and oranges is just beautiful!
This exhibit was one of the 5 I wanted to catch this year in January’s ArtSmart. I also swung by the Boston Loves Impressionism and Think Pink exhibits, but this one was absolutely spectacular. I’m glad I made the effort to waddle around for a few hours on a day off.
Quilts and Color
The Pilgrim/Roy Collection
Museum of Fine Arts Boston
April 6 – July 27, 2014