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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Studying the Master Art Qulters

500 Art Quilts: An Inspiring Collection of Contemporary Work (500 Series)

I love this book!  We used it in our organization to help the fiber artists we work with to become familiar with many contemporary artists, and to study their work in depth for what made it so unique and recognized as excellent art.  It was really fun, for every time I would get an artist from the book, I would need to look up blog sites or web sites for the artists since some of our folks are overseas and couldn't get the book there reasonably.  There will be another book coming out soon by Martha Sielman about the pivotal artists from the 1960s through the 1980s, and I can't wait for that book to become available.  Martha did a fine job of covering many of the top artists, and it helped make our study very easy.

I will talk about some others I have ordered through them that are very like this one in nature - one is Men and the Art of Quiltmaking by Joe Cunningham. I kept after some of my good male friends who are quilters to do the book, so I was thrilled when Joe tackled it, and he also did an excellent job. The photography is really good and the stories of the male quilters is very thorough.  I met some of the male art quilters for the first time on the pages of this books and also enjoyed seeing some of my friends' works.

Another one I am very fond of that I ordered through Amazon is Pioneering Quilt Artists, 1960 - 1980: A New Direction in American Art by Sandra Sider. This one is not so much a look at the individual quilters but what was happening in the art quilt community at the time.  It is fascinating and I am really looking forward to finishing this book.

I will, from time to time, mention books that have helped me a lot in trying to help other fiber artists. Being a good artist, and being a professional artist really requires in my mind a good understanding of the art quilt community and its history.  I have an absolute hunger to know every art quilter in depth, if not in person, at least to know as much as I can by reading about them. For years it seemed as though so many art quilters were getting lost because their work and their lives weren't so well documented. Thank heavens all that is changing today.