Object Focus: The Bowl in the New York Times
In a glowing article, Finally, the Bowl Gets Its Due, New York Times writer Julie Lasky delves into the exhibition Object Focus: The Bowl and the relationships between tradition, craft, and design it investigates.
Read the New York Times article here.
The article begins by discussing a recent Northern Song dynasty bowl that went for more than $2.2 million at auction in Sotheby’s.
But as Lasky notes, the bowl is easily overlooked. In a phone conversation with Lasky, Wiggers said, “we don’t talk about the bowl because it’s completely this everyday thing. We take it for granted. We know it too well.”
And thus the impetus behind the exhibition Object Focus: The Bowl: to draw attention to and unpack an everyday object that is filled to the brim with thousands of years of craft and design.
Wiggers is quoted as saying, “When I talk to people about the bowl, it is always about something else. It’s a metaphorical conversation about ritual, like in the tea ceremony, or about the fabrication process. It’s very hard to just talk about the bowl itself. We talk around the bowl.”
Lasky discusses the writing component of the exhibition as well, with writings by artists, historians, novelists, and more on a Tumblr site, noting work by writers such as Mara Holt Skov and Daniel Duford. She writes, “Ms. Wiggers has capitalized on the narrative richness of bowls by inviting scholars, writers and artisans to select an example from the show and write a brief essay about it.”
Read written accounts and essay on the Object Focus The Bowl Tumblr here.
— Posted on 03/28 at 12:46 PM
MoCC Director and Chief Curator, Namita Gupta Wiggers, presents her Distinguished Lecture for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) annual conference, Navigating Whiteout Conditions: Ceramics in the White Cube, White Tent, and White Page.
— Posted on 03/25 at 03:11 PM
We wondered: how could MoCC transform a commonplace object into a topic of discussion that connects the bowls used at home with the bowls on view in the Museum? We have kickstarted a conversation about bowls through writings and drawings contributed by people from many disciplines and from all over the country. Now, we invite every one of you to participate. Contribute writing or a drawing at the on-site stations, or online at MuseumofContemporaryCraft.org. Your contributions will be placed on view at the Musem and uploaded to our tumblr site at objectfocusbowl.tumblr.
Museum of Contemporary Craft invites you to share your written and drawn observations, reflections, and memories about bowls.
You may select a bowl on view in the exhibition, or choose one from your personal history and daily life. Both written and visual illustrations will be enthusiastically accepted; however, MoCC cannot guarantee to publish every submission received. New submissions will be posted in the exhibition in print, and be uploaded digitally to this Tumblr feed on the 1st and 15th of every month, March 15 – August 1, 2013.
How to Participate:
Email a text of no more than 500-words and/or images on Bowls to Curatorial@MuseumofContemporaryCraft.org.
Please include your name, location, information about your object, and connection with MoCC/Object Focus in your email.
— Posted on 03/13 at 04:48 PM
Podcast: One Object, Two Views
Curator of Collections and Registrar Nicole Nathan, and local craft collector Ron Werner talk from two perspectives about objects. How do collectors see, handle, and think about their work? How does a museum think about, utilize, and care for the objects in their collections? Listen for a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum’s storage areas and research library. For collectors, object enthusiasts, and everyone in between.
Perspectives on Craft + Design Symposium: One Object, Two Views
MoCC Curator of Collections and Registrar Nicole Nathan, and local craft collector Ron Werner will talk from two perspectives about objects. January 31, 2013.
— Posted on 03/12 at 01:20 PM
March Director’s Corner
Dear Museum Community,
Today marks Object Focus: The Bowl joining We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live at the Museum – and we couldn’t be more excited! With nearly 200 bowls on view spanning 400 years, I know you will be surprised and delighted with the range. I hope you can join me for a special curatorial walkthrough tomorrow, Friday March 8 2-3pm.
Now it’s your turn. The first part of this exhibition – REFLECT + RESPOND – offers a chance for us to hear what you think about the bowl. Be sure to visit the Museum website and tumblr to learn how to contribute your own writing and drawing to the project.
We are resisting the temptation to send you writing, photos, and drawings all at once. You will see why as you check it out online. Instead, we will post new bowl stories to the tumblr each day. Speaking for all of us at the Museum, we cannot thank the writers who’ve provided the essays to start this off enough, and are truly grateful to the collectors and institutions who’ve lent work so we could explore this topic with you.
When you visit the Museum, you will see Chinese bowls from 1690 created from porcelain – and how that same shape continues to inspire people today, as do the Japanese and Korean tea bowls on view as well. From the mid-century forward – you will see bowls which remain as they’ve been for centuries mixed with bowls in new materials, forms and shapes. The bowl here morphs from a functional Native American mush basket to a farm bowl to a Styrofoam ramen bowl made to look like a traditional Japanese ceramic bowl – ready for the microwave!
A special gift to the Museum’s Collection from Bank of America will be unveiled at a special event for members and special guests on March 14. We are deeply honored that Bank of America chose Museum of Contemporary Craft for this gift, and especially thrilled to share it with all of you. The new gift to the collection, Untitled Sculpture, by Betty Feves, will be on view through the end of March in The Lab.
Join us for Friday’s Curatorial Walkthrough and check out the many program offerings. We can connect you to craft each week – with programs ranging from Drop-in-and-Make for our youngest visitors and their parents to lectures and panels on specific exhibitions. New additions include upcoming workshops on Indonesian batik and wheel techniques. There is something for everyone wanting to connect craft with their lives.
Last, but not least, I am honored for the invitation to deliver the Distinguished Lecture at NCECA later this month. I look forward to seeing all the ceramic artists, potters, collectors, and curators in Houston!
Namita Gupta Wiggers
Director and Chief Curator
— Posted on 03/07 at 03:40 PM
Interview with Daniel Duford
Read a conversation between Daniel Duford and curator Cassandra Coblentz as part of We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live on UNTITLED, PNCA’s online magazine.
“Narrative, or storytelling, threads through all my work,” says Duford about the role that storytelling plays in his work. “It might seem that what I’m doing is disparate—working in pots, comics, wall drawings, and large-scale installation—but a story brings it all together. It took me a long time to realize that narrative was a driving force. The work that I’m interested in looking at has some aspect of a narrative to it.”
Daniel Duford, a recipient of the prestigious Hallie Ford Fellowship in Visual Arts, is one of nine artists featured in “We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live” at Museum of Contemporary Craft. The Museum, with the help of The Ford Family Foundation, has produced a catalog accompanying the exhibition, which includes interviews with each of the Hallie Ford Fellows. The text below is an excerpt from a longer interview. You can read more about Duford, about the Hallie Ford Fellowship, and about the We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live exhibition, as well as listen to the full-length interview between Duford and curator Cassandra Coblentz, at Museum of Contemporary Craft.
Read more stories about the Museum of Contemporary Craft on UNTITLED.
— Posted on 03/04 at 10:49 AM
Join the Museum for a special reception celebrating a gift to the collection from the Bank of America. The Museum will add Untitled, by Betty Feves to its collection. Read more about this generous gift and the legacy it continues.
The Museum welcomes its members for a first sneak peak of Untitled and the museum’s newest exhibition Object Focus: The Bowl on March 14, 6-8pm.
RSVP to members@MuseumofContemporaryCraft.org or 503.821.8887
— Posted on 02/28 at 11:07 AM
Bank of America Donates Betty Feves Sculpture
Bank of America has donated a Betty Feves sculpture to the Museum of Contemporary Craft. The untitled sculpture is a tall, stacked column of rough clay dug from Oregon soil with glazes the artist made from materials in the Pendleton area. It is related in form and material to Garden Wall (1979), which was installed at the entrance to the Museum’s retrospective exhibition Generation Betty Feves that critics called one of the best exhibitions of 2012.
Read more about excellent press for the Generations: Betty Feves exhibition.
Look over the programming and images that chronicled Feves’ impact on Oregon arts and the national ceramics scene.
“Preserving and illuminating the legacies of the region’s finest craft artists is a vital part of what we do here at the Museum,” says Museum director and chief curator Namita Gupta Wiggers. “This gift from Bank of America of a piece we would not have otherwise been able to acquire ensures that this important work by Betty Feves will be held permanently in the public trust, available for viewing and scholarship.”
Bank of America’s support for the arts is multi-faceted, providing millions of dollars in grants, large and small, delivering a wide range of support for the arts, from education and access programs at the local level to major investments that help institutions expand their size and services and revitalize their communities.
— Posted on 02/27 at 12:55 PM
Free First Thursdays
Don’t forget that the Museum of Contemporary Craft offers free admission to everyone on the first Thursday of each month. Take a chance to explore the current exhibitions We Tell Ourselves Stories In Order to Live and Object Focus: The Bowl and see what new items are currently on sale in the Gallery Store.
— Posted on 02/20 at 10:45 AM
Valentine’s Specials in the Gallery Store
Find the perfect handcrafted gift for your Valentine in the Gallery Store from unique contemporary jewelry to rosey glassware from Vitreluxe Glassworks to high-design ceramics by Jean-Marc Desaules. We carry letterpressed cards by Heir and Lome and EMPrint. Special this month: All of Jean-Marc Desaules’ ceramic cups are 15% off.
— Posted on 02/01 at 04:56 PM
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