Spun spins a museum-wide web of textile-related exhibits at the Denver Art Museum
Spun: Adventures in Textiles, this summer's huge, campus-wide aggregation of exhibitions devoted to the textile arts at the Denver Art Museum, is definitely going to require more than one visit to absorb. In fact, DAM curators -- every single one of them had a hand in putting the shows together -- are banking on it. The wildly varied products of their labors collectively represent the wealth of textiles that have been tucked away for years in the museum collection, out of view.
Lucas Samaras, "Reconstruction #20," 1977. Sewn fabrics; 87 x 85 in. Denver Art Museum; National Endowment for the Arts, Dayton Hudson Foundation, Alliance for Contemporary Art M/M Edward Strauss, M/M Donald S. Graham, and anonymous donor, © the artist. Detail.
- Spun: Adventures in Textiles, at the Denver Art Museum
- Photos: Two abstract solos showcase Colorado's best
- DIY feminist writer Margaret Wertheim discusses the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef
That's changing, thanks in part to a generous gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, as well as a planned shift of museum offices to a new building under construction, which will open up more gallery space: specifically, the newly expanded textile art galleries and hands-on Textile Art Studio. Spun's centerpiece, Cover Story, featuring long-hidden pieces -- rugs, woven shawls, quilts and bags -- from the collection, fills those spaces beautifully.
But that's just the beginning of a long, artful journey through textile-based works both ancient and up-to-the-minute modern, as well as all forms of imagery associated with fabric and fashion. As DAM director Christoph Heinrich notes, "There's a lot of fun in Spun!"
Following is a quick guide to what there is to explore in Spun, which begins Sunday, May 19, and continues through September 22. For more information about the shows and a myriad of associated events, visit the DAM website or call 720-865-5000.
"Spring" ("Wiosna") (detail), designed by Stefan Galkowski (1912-1984) and manufactured by Wanda Cooperative; Cracow, Poland; about 1961. Wool and linen tapestry. Denver Art Museum; Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of The Moskowitz Family.
The heart of Spun, this exhibit follows the function of and decorative beauty of textiles through history and global cultures, drawing from the DAM's extensive collection.
Unknown Navajo Artist, Poncho, about 1850. Wool and dye. Denver Art Museum; Funds from Exeter Co., accumulated memorial funds, acquisition challenge grant and a partial gift of Robert S. Gast, Jr.
Red, White and Bold: Masterworks of Navajo Design, 1840-1870
If you remember the wall of tuxedos in last year's Yves Saint Laurent show, you might appreciate what native arts curator Nancy Blomberg has similarly done with Navajo shoulder blankets in the exhibit's main room. The soaring, two-story display's effect is stunning, and the workmanship exquisite.
Jacqueline Groag, Untitled, about 1956. Dress fabric, printed cotton. Jill A. Wiltse and H. Kirk Brown III Collection. Photo from the book Jacqueline Groag: Textile and Pattern Design, published by ACC.
Pattern Play: The Contemporary Designs of Jacqueline Groag
Design curator Darrin Alfred showcases Czech-born mid-century fabric designer Jacqueline Groag's vibrant, abstracted patterned textiles.
Continue reading for the rest of Spun.