“What Would Mrs. Webb Do?: A Founding Vision” Exhibition

Museum of Arts & Design

poster for “What Would Mrs. Webb Do?: A Founding Vision” Exhibition
[Image: "Aileen Osborn Webb in her pottery studio" (n.d.) Photo Credit: American Craft Council]

This event has ended.

The Museum of Arts and Design celebrates the enduring vision of its founder Aileen Osborn Webb with What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founding Vision, an exhibition highlighting Webb’s advocacy and dedication to skilled makers across America. As a patron and philanthropist, Webb pioneered a contemporary appreciation for craftsmanship and the handmade as integral to America’s cultural heritage. The exhibition illustrates the impact of such advocacy through the work of American makers whose practice directly benefitted from the support of Webb and others who shared her vision. Featuring a range of objects created over the past 70 years, including many objects from the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibition pays tribute to Webb’s foundational role at MAD and at leading institutions across the country.

In addition to Webb’s achievements, the exhibition presents the contributions of other advocates and philanthropists for skilled craftspeople, including those of her sister-in-law, Electra Havemeyer Webb, founder of the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. For the exhibition, MAD is partnering with the Shelburne Museum to highlight each woman’s advancement of American craft culture as a valid and vital arena for artistic expression.

Additional leading figures featured in the exhibition include Lucy Morgan, the founder of Penland School of Crafts; Lloyd Kiva New, a leader of modern Native American art in the Southwest and director of the Institute of American Indian Art in Santa Fe; Eudorah Moore, who spearheaded the nationally acclaimed series of California Design exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of Art; as well as individuals who are building on Webb’s legacy today, including Ruth Kohler, leader of the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; gallerist Helen Drutt, who championed the work of Philadelphia and international artists; and Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud, founder and driving force behind the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.

What Would Mrs. Webb Do? A Founding Vision is organized by adjunct curator Jeannine Falino.



from September 23, 2014 to February 08, 2015

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