Catch the Creative Crossroads Exhibition at the Denver Art Museum Before It’s Too Late

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Posted Tue, Jun 21, 2016

Saltillo Sarape, Mexico, 1800–1859. Wool and cotton. Denver Art Museum Neusteter Textile Collection: Harmsen Collection.

Saltillo Sarape, Mexico, 1800–1859. Wool and cotton. Denver Art Museum Neusteter Textile Collection: Harmsen Collection.

DENVER – The Denver Art Museum is home to hundreds of stationary displays, but it also hosts temporary exhibits such as the present’s Creative Crossroads: The Art of Tapestry. With over 20 tapestry-woven pieces, this display features current and traditional designs, and large and small creations from around the world.

According to the Art Museum’s curator, “While some designs are culturally specific, others borrow from, transform or transcend tradition.” The exhibition highlights a variety of designs, some from as early as the 1500s. Particularly intriguing is the fact that early tapestry designers are often unknown, so despite the complexity of their pieces, they never receive recognition. For instance, Birth of the Prince of Peace is credited to an unknown Flemish workshop. 

“The pieces are contemporary,” said Lara Bell, a museum visitor,but the honor old traditions too.” Artist Irvin Trujillo created his Saltillo Shroud in 2014, but it shares design characteristics with Saltillo Sarape, which was woven in Mexico between the years 1800 and 1859.

Irvin Trujillo (American, b. 1954), Saltillo Shroud, 2014. Wool, silk and metal thread. Denver Art Museum Neusteter Textile Collection: Funds by exchange. © Irvin Trujillo. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Irvin Trujillo (American, b. 1954), Saltillo Shroud, 2014. Wool, silk and metal thread. Denver Art Museum Neusteter Textile Collection: Funds by exchange. © Irvin Trujillo. [Photo: Courtesy of the artist.]

Peggy Ludwick, another visitor and tapestry aficionado, was drawn to Don Leon Sandoval’s Las Cinco Estrellas. “I don’t know anything about tapestry, but this is so interesting,” she said.

Next to the main display room is the Nancy Lake Benson Thread Studio, which allows guests to learn about and interact with smaller tapestry pieces. The walls are filled with facts and quotes about tapestry-weaving. One interesting fact said that an 18-year-old William Henry Perkin accidently developed synthetic dye in 1856 while attempting to create an anti-malarial drug.

Also in the studio is a television with various videos about different aspects of tapestry weaving. One video, called Rare Spider Silk, follows the creation of a brilliant yellow tapestry, created in Madagascar using 63,000 spiders. “I can’t believe all of the work that artists devoted to these tapestry pieces,” said museum guest, Anna Voth.

With an array of unique tapestry-woven rugs, robes and wall-hangings, Creative Crossroads is the Denver Art Museum’s woven wonderland. Bell described the exhibit best with a single word — Striking!

Visit Creative Crossroads

Available at the Denver Art Museum until Aug. 7.

Price

  • Free to members and children 0-18
  • Adults $10 (out-of-state $13)
  • Seniors, military and college students $8 (out-of-state $10)

Hours:

About Kayla Klein

Kayla Klein is a Denver-area freelance writer.

View all posts by Kayla Klein

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