Byrdcliffe’s Legacy: Handmade in the 20th Century (An Ode to Nature & Place) – Opening Reception

August 20, 2016 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
BYRDCLIFFE Kleinert/James Center for the Arts
36 Tinker Street

Byrdcliffe’s Legacy: Handmade in the 20th Century opens August 19

Opening August 19 (talk and reception on August 20), Byrdcliffe’s Legacy: Handmade in the 20th Century (an ode to nature and place) takes the nature-inspired work done at the early Byrdcliffe Art Colony and relates its influence to the twentieth century. Byrdcliffe was founded in 1902 by Ralph Radcliffe Whitehead, Jane Byrd McCall Whitehead, Bolton Brown, and Hervey White. Its original mission was to produce beautiful handmade objects using time-honored techniques, with facilities including studios for painting, printmaking, weaving, pottery, metalwork, and woodworking. Artworks created at the colony during its first decade are held in museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Byrdcliffe remains today an active artists’ colony, with residents in all disciplines living and working in its Artists in Residence program.

Byrdcliffe’s Legacy, curated by Sylvia Leonard Wolf, Tina Bromberg, and Karen Walker, will showcase work by the original denizens of the Byrdcliffe Colony as well as artists and artisans who lived in the Hudson Valley between 1900-1999. Whether functional objects or unique art pieces, the works in the exhibition illustrate a spectrum of accomplishments in both fine art and design. Mirroring the studio classes offered at the original Byrdcliffe Colony, Byrdcliffe’s Legacy represents each decade of the twentieth century with examples of paintings, prints, artistic photographs, weaving, ceramics, furniture, metal, jewelry, and decorative art. The exhibition includes work by visual artists with international and national reputations such as George Ault, George Bellows, Robert Chanler, William Hunt Diederich, Robert Ebendorf, Mary Frank, Milton Glaser, Philip Guston, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Doris Lee, Judy Pfaff, and Carl Walters. There are approximately 200 pieces in the show, including important furniture and ceramics from Byrdcliffe’s permanent collection.

The Kleinert/James Center for the Arts is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12:00 to 6:00 pm. The exhibition is on view through Sunday, October 9. On Saturday, August 20, 3:00 pm, visitors can “meet the lenders”. This is an informal discussion with collectors and lenders to the exhibition where people can learn what the artworks in the Byrdcliffe’s Legacy exhibition mean to them, from their personal relationships with the artists to how the artworks came into their lives. The opening reception will follow at 4:00 pm.