At the Center: Masters of American Craft
Works by David Ellsworth, master woodturner, teacher, and ambassador of the wood art field, will be featured with works by ceramics artist Rudolph Staffel in an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from August 20, 2016 - July 30, 2017.
From Elisabeth Agro, The Nancy M. McNeil Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts at the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
"At The Center: Masters of American Craft", the fourth installment of this series, will focus upon the careers of Rudolf Staffel (1911 - 2002) and David Ellsworth (b, 1944). From the Philadelphia region, these two celebrated artists are important and influential in their respective media.
Staffel, a ceramic artist, was founder and professor of ceramics at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, for thirty-eight years, retiring to devote himself to a studio practice until his death in 2002. Staffel's use of porcelain, in his quest to gather light, pushed the vessel into a sculptural realm.
David Ellsworth, a wood turner, is a seminal figure in wood as an artistic medium. As the field of art in wood gained momentum in the 1970s, Ellsworth led the field as a founder of the woodworking program at Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass, CO in 1974 and as co-founder of the American Association of Woodturners in 1986. Always at the forefront of his medium, Ellsworth developed a series of bent tu
rning tools and methods required for making the thin-walled hollow wooden forms, for which he is known worldwide.
The artwork of Staffel and Ellsworth both share a complexity of surface yet honor a simplicity of form. This striking paring of objects demonstrates these artists' ingenuity, virtuosity, and impact on the field.
This exhibit will be located in the PMA's American Art section, Gallery 119.
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