Batiks of President Obama’s Mom on Display

aladyfoundacultureThe Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. is currently featuring batik patterned textiles from the collection of Ann Dunham, President Obama’s mother.  The exhibit entitled A Lady Found a Culture in its Cloth: Barack Obama’s Mother and Indonesian Batiks  will be on view from August 9-23, 2009. This showing is the final stop of a national tour of the exhibition, which was on view in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York between May and August.

According to the museum, “early in her life, Ann Dunham explored her interest in the textile arts as a weaver, creating wall hangings in earthy shades of brown and green for her own enjoyment. Upon moving to Indonesia in the 1960s with her son Barack Obama, she was naturally drawn to the vibrant textile arts of her new home and began to amass the collection from which the exhibition objects are drawn.  Javanese batiks — fabrics decorated using a wax-resist dyeing process — were readily seen on city and village streets in this Southeast Asian nation at the time. The wide variation in the batiks on view reflects the range of colors and of patterns, both classic and contemporary, that captured her imagination, and provides a window into the rich culture from which these fabrics originated.”

Amish Quilts at Textile Museum

Amish block.Center_DiamondAmish quilts are on display at the Textile Museum in Washington , D.C. until  September 6, 2009. The exhibit is entitled Constructed Color: Amish Quilts.

According to the museum web site, “Amish quilts are among the most striking and famous of all American quilt types. Renowned for their play of color and strong geometric patterns, their similarities to modern art have been noted ever since the 1971 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York entitled Abstract Design in American Quilts. The parallels are perhaps most striking with regard to color field paintings and art that explores the manipulation of visual effect.

This exhibition, on loan from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, features 29 examples from the center’s highly regarded collection. The quilts represent three specific regional groups, each with its own distinctive features, drawn from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, from Midwestern communities and from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania. Each of these Amish communities produces unique quilts that reflect the availability of materials, influences from non-Amish neighbors, and the relative conservatism of individual communities as determined by their Ordnung, or community guidelines. The objects which will be on view in the exhibition represent some of the finest Amish quilts in the world.”

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