The Vision Of One—The Power Of Two: Champions Of Millions
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The Vision of One—The Power of Two: Champions of Millions opens in The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center to honor three late residents of Garrison, NY, whose work had a profound impact on the world of craft and design during the 20th century. Two of those residents included in the exhibit are Mid-century Modern icons, Russel and Mary Wright. Read more after the jump... The Vision of One is a summation of the historic...
The Vision of One—The Power of Two: Champions of Millions opens in The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center to honor three late residents of Garrison, NY, whose work had a profound impact on the world of craft and design during the 20th century. Two of those residents included in the exhibit are Mid-century Modern icons, Russel and Mary Wright. Read more after the jump...
The Vision of One is a summation of the historic accomplishments of Aileen Osborn Webb (1892-1979), whose philanthropy, innovation, and unparalleled passion changed the Studio Craft Movement of the 20th century. From her early pursuit of establishing Putnam County Products, 1936, in Carmel, New York, to her founding of the Museum for Contemporary Crafts, 1956, in New York City—now the Museum of Arts and Design—Mrs. Webb played a vital role in elevating the perception of craft across the nation. In 1939 she established the Handcraft Cooperative League of America, now the American Craft Council, which launched a magazine in 1942, Craft Horizons now American Craft and today has 27,000 subscribers with a readership of more than 100,000. Mrs. Webb’s can-do spirit was incomparable, as was her ability to persuade people from countries across the globe to join in her lofty endeavors. In 1964, 30 years after she began and still going strong, she established the World Craft Council. Over the decades she hosted many from afar in her beloved home Whippoorwill Farm in Garrison. In addition, during these years of impressive organizational work and leadership she established the School for American Craftsman at Dartmouth College that later moved to Alfred University and now has a permanent home at Rochester Institute of Technology. For these and other efforts Mrs. Webb has received numerous awards including honorary doctorates from both Rhode Island School of Design and Dartmouth College.
The Power of Two is a presentation of the dynamic partnership between Mary Einstein Wright (1904-1952) and Russel Wright (1904-1976), their art work and their pioneering contribution to lifestyle marketing, which laid the groundwork for today’s astonishing level of lifestyle branding. In addition, the exhibition includes fine art drawings by Mary from the early 1920s that have been seen by few and never exhibited, as well as stage and costume designs by Russel from the same period, also not shown before. Rare works designed individually and collaboratively plus a line of dishware designed by Mary offer a unique look at their aesthetic kinship. On occasion there is discussion among art and design experts on where the line between the two is drawn, but general agreement that Mary’s talent in the area of marketing was instrumental in the unparalleled success of Russel’s design work. Mary’s work as a young artist shows much promise. In a letter (February 25, 1926) to her aunt Alfred Steiglitz said of Mary’s work, “The drawings are astounding. The paintings extraordinary.” A close study of the small works indicate that most if not all were completed before her marriage to Russel. Given the relatively short rise to Russel’s success as a designer one can surmise that Mary was quite busy marketing the numerous design lines in dishware, furnishings and more.
The Vision of One —The Power of Two: Champions of Millions opens August 29, 2015, and will remain open for viewing through November 8, 2015. The Webb exhibition is curated by Geoffrey Platt with consultation from Paul Smith, Director Emeritus of the Museum of Arts and Design and with assistance from the American Craft Council staff. The Wright exhibition is curated by Carinda Swann and Maryann Syrek and is made possible through generous loans from Ann Wright, Laura and Gary Maurer among others and with consultation from Allison Cross, Director of Manitoga: Russel Wright Design Center.
The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center, 23 Garrison’s Landing, Garrison, NY 10524, are open Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm. For more information about this and other exhibitions and programs at Garrison Art Center please visit www.garrisonartcenter.org or call Executive Director Carinda Swann at 845.424.3960.
Image via The Riverside Galleries at Garrison Art Center