1981-28 Matt Flynn 005
Stitching Architecture
Polly Turner’s sampler, worked in 1786, is one of the earliest known examples made at Mary Balch’s school in Providence, Rhode Island. According to tradition, the sampler’s five-bay house represents the residence of the president of Rhode Island College. Polly’s is the first known needlework depiction of the house, which appears on at least six...
Kantha: Reinventing Old Saris
Kantha is the practice of reinventing worn cotton fabric into household textiles in India and Bangladesh.
Dogs of New York
Christina Malman’s 1935 drawing of a woman embracing a dog is both aesthetically  magnetic and brimming with affect.  Using a brush with black ink and white gouache, Malman masterfully utilizes positive and negative space to create simplified forms that are at once sleekly modern and yet familiar.  The figures are depicted in a kind of...
Imagining Restorative Justice
In 2013, architectural designer Deanna Van Buren and social scientist Barb Toews established Designing Justice+Designing Spaces (DJ+DS) to facilitate the design of more restorative and healing criminal-justice environments through community engagement in jails and prisons. Their work is featured in the exhibition By the People: Designing a Better America, curated by Cynthia Smith, Curator of...
Living in a World of Nursery Rhymes
As one of the best-known British decorative artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement, Walter Crane’s design touched upon the fields of books, textiles, wallpaper, stained glass, and ceramics. Children’s education played a considerably important part in the subject matter of Crane’s book illustration and wallpaper designs. In 1875, Crane (1845-1915) was commissioned by Jeffrey...
Pottery of Precision
Lucy Martin Lewis learned to make pottery from her great-Aunt and other women living in Sky City, a remote three hundred foot high sandstone mesa in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. Until the middle of the twentieth century, the community had no plumbing and pottery jars were necessary for hauling essentials to the waterless mesa. Pottery...
Starry Indigo
Starry Indigo embodies two vital Japanese textile traditions which derive from the kimono: indigo dyeing which can achieve the darkest and lightest of blues through repeated dipping in the dye vat, and woven silk accentuated by luxurious metallic coated washi thread (silver in Starry Indigo). The appearance of starlets twinkling in a midnight blue sky...
Drawing, Mount Katahdin Rising over Katahdin Lake, before 1878; Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826–1900); USA; brush and oil paint, graphite on paperboard; Sheet: 30.6 x 50.8 cm (12 1/16 x 20 in.) Frame H x W x D: 60 x 75.6 cm (23 5/8 x 29 3/4 in.); Gift of Louis P. Church; 1917-4-626
Cut Out Katahdin
“The tops of mountains are among the unfinished parts of the globe, whither it is a slight insult to the gods to climb and pry into their secrets, and try their effect on our humanity. Only daring and insolent men, perchance, go there.”   – Henry David Thoreau, “The Maine Woods” Praised by his mentor Thomas...
A Landmark Design with an Aluminum Shine: John Vassos’s RCA Victor Special Phonograph
This sleek icon of American design embodies the simultaneous rise of listening technology and the streamline moderne style in the 1930s. This portable phonograph’s mechanism was engineered by Alfred Weiland and Selden T. Williams while its case and overall aesthetic were conceived by the prolific graphic and industrial designer John Vassos. Born in Romania, Vassos...