Louisville organizations, The Cabbage Patch Settlement House and The Little Loomhouse, came together to create “Working Hands: A Modern Generation Explores the Ancient Craft of Textiles” in collaboration with the Speed Art Museum’s “Wall Together” project. The fiber arts curriculum from The Little Loomhouse was implemented at The Cabbage Patch Settlement House, where youth were taught a series of traditional skills using the combination of literature, historical background, and hands-on activities. These learning components helped students understand how people of other times and cultures used these artistic skills to meet practical needs while also finding personal expression.
Additionally, students learned about natural and synthetic dyes, gaining a full understanding to then dye the yarn used in their projects. This medium, both beautiful and practical, gave the youth the opportunity to connect with the tradition of fabric handcraft and participate in creating an exhibition of work that transcends time, language, and culture.
The Cabbage Patch Settlement House, established in 1910, is a local, non-profit organization whose mission it is to equip and empower at-risk youth and their families to be self-sufficient and maximize their potentials.
Since 1939, The Little Loomhouse has provided textile and folk art education for all ages through the Lou Tate landmark home, a cultural destination of three historic cabins in South Louisville.
“Discovering the Earth: African Pottery from the Speed’s Collection” features 17 different pieces of pottery authentic to parts of Africa, spanning the continent from Nigeria to South Africa. The objects were donated to the Speed Art Museum by the Chicago based Douglas Dawson Gallery, which specializes in ancient and historic art from Africa, Asia and the Americas. The characteristic attribute all of the pieces share is that they are traditional hand-built earthenware.
“Discovering the Earth” explores the techniques used to create the timeless forms of pottery, and delves into how these ceramics were used and what significance these pieces had in society. This exhibition marks the first time that many of these objects, all from the Speed’s collection, will be on view to the public.
“Discovering the Earth” will be on display at Local Speed from August 1 to October 25, 2014.
The Speed’s current exhibition, Art of the Streets: The French Poster, 1880-1930, features lithographic reproductions of famous designs from the golden age of the poster. Together with original prints from the collection of Jonathan and Tracy Blue, these rarely seen prints from the Speed’s permanent collection give an intimate look at the dazzling heights of the French poster. Watch the video below for an in-depth discussion of the exhibition by Kim Spence, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, and Bradley Speaks, Administrative Assistant for Collections and Exhibitions.
Throughout their history, sideboards symbolized status. They were the perfect accompaniment to well-dressed and well-mannered diners. Such was the case in early nineteenth-century Kentucky: estate inventories and other documentary sources show that sideboards were often among the most expensive pieces of furniture one could own. The magnificent sideboard shown here certainly shows why the form was so costly. Its complex profile, richly figured veneers, precise inlays, and the exceptional quality of its craftsmanship place it among the most ambitious Kentucky sideboards to have survived from the early nineteenth century. It was made between about 1800 and 1815, probably in Lexington or its surrounding area.
In this short video, Robert Brewer, the sideboard’s previous owner, describes the unique circumstances surrounding his purchase of the piece in 1951.
On September 22, families enjoyed a full day of fun at the Museum as part of the expansion kickoff celebration featuring musical performances by Mom’s RockSchool, family portraits in Art Sparks, films from the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, paintball painting, and a Cupcake Creation Café & Ice Cream Emporium, courtesy of The Comfy Cow and Bake My Day. Photos by Frankie Steele.