Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
“At Home with Gustav Stickley: Arts
and Crafts from the Stephen Gray
Oct. 11–Jan. 4
“By hammer and hand do all things
stand.” An eloquent expression of Stickley’s design ethos, the adage is etched into
a copper hood over a fieldstone fireplace
inside his former New Jersey home,
Craftsman Farms. Stickley, of course, was
the father of the American Arts and Crafts
movement of the early 20th century. Gray,
an author and collector, is one of Stickley’s
most ardent present-day champions.
The Wadsworth exhibit brings together 140 pieces from Gray’s collection
of Arts and Crafts furnishings—they typically inhabit his 18th-century farmhouse
in upstate New York—and related works
from the Wadsworth’s own collection.
Gray’s holdings include tiles and pottery
as well as rare pieces of Stickley furniture
from 1901 to 1905, a critical period of inspiration among the early American practitioners of the Arts and Crafts aesthetic.
Rhode Island School of
Providence, R. I.
“Chihuly at RISD”
When the leaders of the Rhode
Island School of Design Museum
began to discuss plans for the opening show of a new exhibition gallery
inside the Chace Center, the upshot
was, in the words of museum director
Hope Alswang, “a no-brainer, really.”
Chihuly, after all, is a RISD alum with a
long affiliation with the design school.
It doesn’t hurt that he is something of
an art world rock star. His installations
have propelled glass design to new
heights—one reason he has been described as the most important American glassmaker since Tiffany himself.
“There isn’t a major museum in the
country that wouldn’t want a Chihuly
exhibit,” Alswang says.
For this inaugural show, Chihuly designed a sprawling installation of glass
sculpture—composed of some 22,000
pieces—that fills a 4,200-square-foot
gallery. Although Alswang concedes
that she has not seen the final product,
she predicts “a real Aladdin’s cave, with
great, beautiful glass forms.”
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