COLLEGEVILLE, PA.- Two exhibitions focusing on the material manifestations of womens identity will open at the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College this fall. Womens Work? Two Exhibitions Looking at Womens Bodies of/as Work will bring together 19th century quilts from the collection of well-known collector Judy Roche, with the textile and body-based works of contemporary artists Tamar Stone and Christine LoFaso.
The exhibitions are scheduled to open Sept. 14 and run through Dec. 7 in both the Main and Upper galleries in the museum. Working Women: Quilts from the Judy Roche Collection will showcase the exuberant and often virtuosic intricacies of what we think of traditionally as mundane icons of womens work. Accounts such as Alice Walkers story Everyday Use remind us that quilts have come to serve as metaphors or visual vehicles for the histories of womens lives, their habitation in the domestic sphere, their creativity and sense of community. Many of the quilts in the exhibit were sewn in Pennsylvania.
Tamar Stone and Christine LoFaso: Womens Bodies of/as Work may prompt viewers to recontextualize what they see in the quilt exhibition by reconsidering the implications of womens association with the artifacts of domesticity. Tamar Stones bed projects will ask: When is a bed not a place of rest, but a platform of confinement? When do the routines of womens work and the fashionable manipulations of womens bodies act as restraints of identity, rather than constructively shaping that identity? Both artists focus on the intersections of fabric, fabrication and the body in their work, reflecting on historical material and conventions as a way of reforming our perceptions of them.
Through its 20-year history, the Berman Museum exhibitions and permanent collections have showcased the work of historical, regional, national and international women artists. Though this falls unique pairing of exhibitions, the museum investigates in provocative ways the historical and contemporary contexts in which womens work has been viewed, reviewed and reassessed.
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; noon to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, and closed Mondays and college holidays. The museum is accessible to the physically disabled, and admission is free. The museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Exhibitions and programs are funded in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. For group tour information, call 610-409-3500.