April 20 - June 18, 2021
From Texas A&M University Galleries:
“The Forsyth Galleries, of the Texas A&M University Art Galleries, offers hope, color, and visual rejuvenation in the exhibition, In Full Bloom: A Floral Fantasy, on display April 20–June 18, 2021.
After an uncertain year and a pandemic in 2020, Elizabeth Appleby, assistant director of the University Art Galleries, had a vision to inspire and celebrate renewal for visitors to the galleries in the spring of 2021. After hearing of early vaccination successes in November of 2020, she started composing an exhibition filled with light colors and joyful compositions using the wide range of artwork in the Forsyth’s collection. The exhibition features floral depictions in quilts, paintings, and decorative glass, metal, and ceramic objects.
“There was a sense of relief when I learned about the potential vaccines, but I knew there were still some hard months ahead of us. With that in mind, I wanted to be ready to celebrate in 2021,” Appleby said. “I picked some of our most visually lighthearted pieces that are full of color and life to serve as a reminder that spring has arrived, and we all have so much to look forward to.”
Appleby’s excitement and forethought can be seen in the colorful tableaus spread throughout the interior of the Forsyth’s two conjoined gallery spaces. The show contains a wide variety of items from the University Art collections, including quilts, paintings in the styles of Realism, Impressionism, and Post-Impressionism, floral-forward art glass and ceramic pieces, as well as Modern works of art on loan from the J. Wayne Stark collections.
Quilt fans and Aggie Moms alike will delight in this feast for the eyes, as quilts from the Patsy and Thomas Nichols collection are on view, as well as a recently acquired quilt stitched by Aggie Moms in 1993.
The album-style quilt, featuring 20 individual blocks of Aggie buildings, landscape features, traditions, and Reveille, was designed by Jane Mobley and Susie Powell and pieced and stitched by Aggie Moms from all over Texas. The quilt was a gift to the President’s Home, which was torn down in March 2020.
“When University Art staff saw it in the master bedroom prior to the building being demolished, we were quick to make sure that it would become a part of our collections,” Appleby said. “It is a beautiful work of art and shows the dedication and love that these women had, and continue to have, for Texas A&M and its students.”
Women are central to the Forsyth’s larger collection of 19th and early 20th century American pieced and block quilts, as it’s the Forsyth’s only all-women-created collection.
Ten of the paintings in the exhibition are a new sight for visitors; they’re part of a recent gift from Texas art collectors and donors, Bill and Linda Reaves.
“These works bridge the artistic style expressed in the Impressionist works owned by the Forsyth and a more modern aesthetic that saw nature more as an exploration of color and shape,” Appleby said. “What is wonderful is that many of these painted works have similar visual qualities to the ‘pieced’ work of the quilts on display nearby.””
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