BMA ANNOUNCES TIMELESS WEFT: ANCIENT TAPESTRIES AND THE ART OF LOUISE B. WHEATLEY

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents Timeless Weft: Ancient Tapestries and The Art of Louise B. Wheatley, an intimate exhibition that celebrates the more than 40-year career of Maryland artist Louise B. Wheatley.

Louise B. Wheatley. Seed Manta. 1999. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Lilian Sarah Greif Bequest Fund, BMA 1999.162.

Internalizing the lessons of ancient masters, represented by Coptic textile fragments from the museum’s collection, Wheatley creates art that is unmistakably a reflection of her own unique vision and her self-imposed sense of technical perfection. The exhibition is on view in the Jean and Allan Berman Gallery through July 30, 2017.

In her late teens, Wheatley forged a connection with Pre-Columbian and Egyptian Coptic textiles. Years later, the artist began spinning and weaving, emulating the practices of ancient predecessors. Her admiration for the colors of antique textiles inspired her lifelong quest to learn about vegetable dyes by growing dye plants in her own garden and processing them by hand. Her desire to understand fibers led her to grow and harvest cotton and flax, as well as raise her own sheep for wool. Some of Wheatley’s works recall the composition and methods of Coptic textiles, including intricate and technically difficult border designs and the use of specific weaving techniques. Less directly, Wheatley emulates their brilliant colors, connection to nature, celebration of earth’s fertility, and exploration of philosophical and religious thought.

For general museum information, call 443-573-1700 or visit artbma.org.

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