Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Lush Life II

[Minnie Evans / Untitled (Purple Vase with Flowers), / 1948 / crayon and graphite on wove paper / 11 15/16 x 8 15/16 inches / Collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art: Gift of Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, 2004 / Photo by Andrea Simon. Image via Foundation for Self Taught Artists.] 

Over the weekend I was at the High to take one last look at Gogo: Nature Transformed, an exhibition of Janet "Gogo" Ferguson's Cumberland Island-inspired home wares and jewelry, before the show closes August 25. Adjacent to the installation are permanent galleries with works by other artists who interpreted the natural beauty of the American South in their own unique way; women like Minnie Evans and Nellie Mae Rowe. So I soon wondered over to see what's on view for summer 2013. (Some of you may recall that the High has well over 100 of Rowe's works thanks to a bequest by art patron Judith Alexander.)

[Nellie Mae Rowe Humpback Bird, 1982 8 1/2" x 9 1/2" graphite and crayon on paper. Barbara Archer Gallery.]
While only a fraction of the Museum's Rowe collection is currently out, I think anyone with an interest in surface design, pattern or textiles would appreciate what is on the walls right now. The highly stylized flora and fauna and eye-popping colors in both Evans' and Rowe's work call to mind the botanicals and other paintings that came out of India hundreds of years before either artist was born in the rural South.

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