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New Textile Gallery at Denver Art Museum

New Textile Gallery at Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum celebrates the opening of its new 7,000 square foot textile art gallery with a campus-wide exhibition Spun:  Adventures in Textiles which takes a wide-ranging look at textiles, from pre-Columbian weavings to Navajo blankets to an examination of clothing in art and photography, on view May 19 – September 22, 2013.  The inaugural exhibition in the new gallery space, Cover Story, will also be unveiled on May 19 and will feature approximately 60 objects from the museum’s textile art collection that explore the myriad ways that textiles envelop, embellish and enrich human lives across centuries, continents and cultures.  Spun will draw from collections throughout the museum as well as loans and interactive on-site creations – for example, an ever-growing crochet coral reef – and will feature multiple exhibitions throughout the museum with a full slate of programming to complement the exhibitions.

Since the beginning of his tenure at the Denver Art Museum, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director Christoph Heinrich has made it a priority to expand the previously underrepresented textile art department and tell the story of textiles as triggers of cultural exchange and creative expression from around the world.

“As a global and highly portable art form, textiles reveal the richness that comes from cultures intermingling thought history,” Heinrich said.  “Textiles also show the geographical and historical courses by which techniques and design motifs were shared.  With the expanded department, and museum-wide look at this art form, visitors will experience the incredible versatility, functionality and historical variety of textile arts over millennia.”

The museum’s newly opened and renovated textile art galleries and its inaugural show Cover Story are at the heart of this campus-wide event.  Whether as warming layers that comfort us during sleep , decorative furnishing on our walls and floors that enhance our waking hours or shields providing protection from the elements or evil spirits, textiles are present throughout all moments of our lives.  Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art Alice Zrebiec has chosen a selection of objects that not only illustrate the exhibition theme but also display the depth of the museum’s extensive textile art collection, offering surprising stories about how textiles enhance our lives.  The objects in Cover Story mirror the diverse geographical areas and range of textiles found in the permanent collection.

Cover Story introduces the public to the scope of our textile art collection by exploring the multitude of ways textiles permeate our lives:  from bedcovers, furnishing fabrics and robes of prestige to ceremonial, ritual and talismanic textiles,” said Zrebiec.  “The theme allows the presentation of objects from different cultures and periods in thought-provoking juxtaposition.”

Expanding the current textile art gallery space more than six times, the new gallery will allow the department to show a greater portion of its collection as well as host larger and more frequent loan exhibitions.  Also included in the new space are scientific and educational spaces, a staging area for exhibition preparation and storage for the more than 5,000 textile objects in the Denver Art Museum collection.  Visitors will be able to visit a Textile Art Studio where they can be inspired by the creativity of textile artists and their materials and a special PreVIEW area offering glimpses into behind-the-scenes work that fuels exhibitions, from study and examination to preparation and conservation of the textile art collection.

For more information about this exhibition, visit the Denver Art Museum website.


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