April 8 - the Newly Renovated Balcony Gallery Opens at Carnegie Museum with a Contemporary Craft Exhibit
Here is a press release from the Carnegie Museum of Art - I thought others would be interested in learning about the balcony gallery and the new exhibit.
Carnegie Museum of Art presents Hand Made: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood
Opens April 8, 2011 in the Newly Renovated Balcony Galley
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania… Carnegie Museum of Art announces the opening of the Balcony Gallery. Formerly known as the Treasure Room, this newly renovated exhibition space located off of the Hall of Sculpture balcony will showcase the museum’s rich and diverse collection of decorative arts objects, with an emphasis on Modernist and contemporary design and craft.
The Balcony Gallery opens with the inaugural exhibition Hand Made: Contemporary Craft in Ceramic, Glass, and Wood, focusing on the materials, forms, and techniques used in the 20th and 21st centuries to create stunning handmade objects inspired by functional traditions. Many of the works on display reflect the strength of the museum’s permanent collection of American craft. Also debuting in the Balcony Gallery (and simultaneously in nearby galleries) are more than 30 recent acquisitions in contemporary craft and nearly two dozen major promised gifts from the collection of Deena and Jerome Kaplan.
“The Balcony Gallery beautifully complements the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries and extends our presentation of decorative arts, design, and craft.” said Lynn Zelevansky, The Henry J. Heinz II Director of Carnegie Museum of Art. “I am delighted that the museum has another beautifully designed exhibition space worthy of such a collection.”
The renovated gallery is 350 square feet (about the same footprint as the former Treasure Room), but has been reconfigured with large floor-to-ceiling built-in wall cases with enhanced lighting, climate control, and adjustable shelving, allowing many more objects to be displayed. To engage a broader audience and provide opportunities for in-depth learning, the renovation also includes an interactive multimedia component in the gallery.
The inaugural exhibition features 65 objects from the three most significant studio craft movements of the last 70 years: ceramics, glass, and wood, including recent acquisitions and loans from private collections.
“This exhibition will examine the roles of craft and design in the 20th and 21st centuries and reveal the unique balance of tradition and innovation that enables these objects to transcend the functional roots of craft media,” said Rachel Delphia, assistant curator of decorative arts and design. “These artists are pushing the boundaries of their media to create distinctive and compelling objects by hand while also employing many age-old techniques.”
Hand Made explores the inherent aesthetic possibilities of ceramics, glass, and wood—such as the plasticity and sensuality of clay, the light-altering ability of glass, and the organic textures of wood. The exhibition also examines how artists have moved beyond functional artistry through innovative form and manipulation of these materials.
The celebration of craft extends beyond the Balcony Gallery to the adjacent Hall of Sculpture Balcony, the Ailsa Mellon Bruce Galleries, and the Museum of Art lobby under the Scaife Gallery stairs where another two dozen works of contemporary craft and studio furniture are on view.