Women’s Work Tools Seen in New Context in Exhibition

RE-IMAGINING THE DISTAFF TOOLKIT
Opens Jan. 24, runs through April 1 in the Main Gallery
Curated by Rickie Solinger
Opening Reception:  Sunday, Jan. 29 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Public Lecture by Rickie Solinger: Feb. 21, 7 p.m, Pearlstine Lecture Hall, Berman Museum of Art  

Award-winning historian and curator Rickie Solinger writes about her exhibition Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit, “Each work of art in [this exhibition] has, at its visible core, a tool that was important for women’s domestic labor in the past. The old tool becomes the fulcrum for a contemporary work of art. … Distaff artists have placed these objects and others at the center of their work: a washboard, a dressmaker’s figure, graters, doilies, an advice book, cooking pans, a basket, a garden hoe, dress patterns, a rolling pin, buckets, darning eggs, a work glove, a needle threader, rug-beaters, ironing boards, mason jars, a telephone.

Tom Cohen, Battle-Ax, digital print and wood, 2007

“Many of these old tools facilitated  . . . repetitive labor and evoke the various cultural histories of women’s unpaid, often diminished and disrespected status within the household and society. But in the 21st century, at a moment when ‘old tools’ have become aestheticized and expensive, we can look again, and see costly beauty.  The artists have put utility in conversation with the past. “

Artists whose work is represented in this exhibition include Betye and Alison Saar, Lisa Alvarado, Dave Cole, Judy Hoyt, Larry Ruhl, and Flo Oy Wong, among others.

The exhibition is funded in part by Dorothy Nofer and an Anonymous Donor.

The exhibition will serve as a core “text” for education partnerships on and off campus, including the project, “Workshopping the Everyday,” a cross-disciplinary series of workshops.  Guest artists will lead these workshops in concert with Ursinus faculty, and will work across the disciplines.

Also at the Berman Museum of Art:

Modern Impressions: Japanese Prints from the Berman & Corazza Collections

Lenfest Gallery, until March 25.
Curated by Matthew Mizenko, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Modern Languages, Ursinus College & Frank L. Chance, Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies, University of Pennsylvania.

Picture Making: Recent Acquisitions in Photography
Cosgrave Works on Paper Study Room, until June 1
The Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College, known for its diverse collection and innovative educational programming, is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and  noon to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Museum is 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 and annual support from Epps Advertising.

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