CONTACT: Lora Helou ( ), Communications Manager, Michigan State University Museum, 517-432-3357
MSU MUSEUM SYMPOSIUM CONNECTS COLLECTIONS, RESEARCH AND QUILT HISTORY
MSU MUSEUM, EAST LANSING, MICH. -- Michigan State University Museum announces a major event this fall: "Unpacking Collections: The Legacy of Cuesta Benberry and a Symposium on Using Quilt History Collections," to explore the connections between using collections in making or studying quilts.
The symposium is set for Oct. 8-10, 2010 in East Lansing, Mich., and is planned in conjunction with an exhibition that showcases examples of materials from the Cuesta Benberry Quilt History Collections that were recently acquired by the MSU Museum.
Scholars and creative artists use private and public collections of objects and archival materials to inform their work. What do they collect? Where do they find collections and how exactly do they use them? What do they do with the collections when they are done? How have they been inspired by collections? What obstacles do they encounter when building or using collections? These questions and more will be explored in the MSU Museum symposium.
"We were wonderfully surprised and honored that Cuesta Benberry's collections have come to the Michigan State University Museum," says Marsha MacDowell, MSU Museum curator and MSU professor of art and art history. "Research-based collections like hers are critical to still under-studied but important aspects of quilt history and of African American art and cultural history. We know that this collection of primary materials will enable scholars here on campus and around the world to benefit from Cuesta's trail-blazing work and to carry it forward. Her collections and others held at the MSU Museum allow us also to examine the importance of building and using collections in creative, scholarly, and educational ways," she adds.
To download the symposium brochure and to register by mail or online, go to: http://museum.msu.edu/Events/cbsymposium/
Noted individuals who have used collections in their scholarly and creative work and will speak at the symposium include Lauren Cross, Kyra Hicks, Carolyn Mazloomi, Patricia Turner,and Merikay Waldvogel. In addition there will be a showing of Cross's film The Skin Quilt Project film, book sales, author book signings, and an information session on using The Quilt Index; "Sit and Stitch" with quiltmakers and "Sit and Share Collections" with quilt history collectors; and a reunion of participants in the African American Quiltmaking in Michigan Project. Optional symposium package add-on activities include "Behind the Scenes" tours of the MSU Museum African American and African Quilt Collections and an opportunity to have your quilt documented for the Michigan Quilt Project/The Quilt Index.
Self-guided tours of the exhibition Unpacking Collections: The Legacy of Cuesta Benberry, An African American Quilt Scholar, and the concurrent Dear Mr. Mandela, Dear Mrs. Parks: Children's Letters, Global Lessons (an exhibition produced by the Nelson Mandela Museum and the Michigan State University Museum in collaboration with the Keeper of the Word Foundation) will also be available.
Members of the Great Lakes African American Quilt Network, the Lansing Sisters in Stitches, and Flint African American Quilt Guild will serve as volunteer hosts and will have information on their organizations.
The symposium is being organized by the Michigan State University Museum and has been supported by a major grant from the Salser Family Foundation with additional support from the MSU Museum Studies Program, MSU Department of Art and Art History, MSU Women's Resource Center, African and African American Studies Program, MSU Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives, and the MSU Residential College of Art and Humanities.
For more information about the exhibition, visit http://museum.msu.edu/Exhibitions/Current/TheLegacyofCuestaBenberry
The Great Lakes Quilt Center at the Michigan State University Museum
Michigan State University Museum's Great Lakes Quilt Center continues the Michigan Quilt Project documentation project, initiated in 1985; has completed major documentation projects on Michigan African-American quiltmaking and North American Indian quiltmaking; is currently engaged in a documentation project on South African quiltmaking; has a collection of over 700 quilts, a strong collection of quiltmaking ephemera, and a library of over 2000 quilt-related publications; and regularly mounts and tours exhibitions of quilts. Michigan State University Museum partners with the Alliance for American Quilts and MATRIX: Center for Humane Arts, Letters, and Social Sciences Online to lead the development of The Quilt Index and Quilt Treasures. For more information about the collections and programs of the center, go to http://www.museum.msu.edu/glqc/.
The Michigan State University Museum
The MSU Museum is Michigan's natural science and culture museum and the state's first Smithsonian Institution affiliate. The MSU Museum -- accredited by the American Association of Museums -- collects, preserves, studies and interprets cultural artifacts and natural history specimens, with collections numbering more than 1 million in four buildings on the MSU campus. The MSU Museum is committed to education, exhibitions, research and the building and stewardship of collections that focus on Michigan and its relationship to the Great Lakes and the world beyond. Learn more at: http://museum.msu.edu .
Arts and culture at MSU
Arts and culture at MSU play a critical role in nurturing the human spirit while contributing to a richer quality of life. Museums, galleries, and gardens along with libraries, historic sites, and performance spaces provide a catalyst for cultural exchange of diverse ideas and inspirations. At the same time, audiences on campus and around the world take advantage of academic and research outreach programs such as public broadcasting, online resources, and publications. Find out more at http://artsandculture.msu.edu .