North Auditorium Gallery, ground floor
Precious Possessions celebrates the breadth of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's American craft collection, with its luxurious works of art in glass, metal, clay, fiber, and wood. The objects on view demonstrate the Museum's early commitment to contemporary craft and encompass a wide range of highlights from the collection: old favorites that have not been displayed for some time and several works that are making their first appearance in the galleries. Many of the pieces selected were received by the Museum as gifts from generous collectors, relatives of artists, and in some cases, the artists themselves. Others were purchased with funds raised by the Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art through its highly successful and esteemed annual Craft Show. A selection of fiber art from the Museum's craft collection was rotated into this gallery to coincide with the University of the Arts' international fiber symposium Materiality and Meaning: Examining Fiber and Material Studies in Contemporary Art and Culture in March 2008. Precious Possessions salutes the many generations of donors, and most especially the Women's Committee, in their commitment to the growth of the Museum's American craft collection.
Elisabeth Agro • Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Art