Writer comments on Phillips Museum’s showcase of female education at F&M

By Katherine Coble || News Editor

Photo Courtesy of
lancastercountymuseums.org

This semester the Phillips Museum of Art will debut two new exhibitions centered on female art. The first is entitled “50 Years: A Celebration of F&M’s Alumnae Artists” and is located in the Rothman Gallery. The second, “Stitched Stories: Women’s Narratives in Regional Textiles” will be displayed in the Gibson Gallery. Both exhibits will run until December 6, toward the end of the semester. 

The “50 Years” exhibit coincidences with F&M’s 50-year anniversary of co-education. Women were first admitted to the college in the fall of 1969. All the work featured in the exhibit was created by F&M alumnae, ranging from its earliest graduates to more recent F&M students. The art itself is diverse in both material and subject matter, including pottery and sculpture alongside neon signs and textiles. A panel discussion with featured artists Michèle Colburn ‘76, Stephanie Lifshutz ‘13, and Frances Wolf ’96 will be held in Stahr Auditorium on Tuesday, October 17 at 5:00 pm. It will be moderated by Sue Washburn ‘73, the first female chair of the F&M Board of Trustees and a member of F&M’s first graduating co-educational class. The opening reception for the exhibition will be held in the Rothman Gallery at 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 19.

The second new exhibition, “Stitched Stories” is a re-examination of the Phillips Museum’s current collection. Its artistic focus is on textiles created by women during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The exhibition seeks to analyze the stories of women’s lives found within these textiles and reconsider the role of textiles in art more generally. Its opening reception will also be held at 5:30 pm on Thursday, October 19.

There are also two related presentations occurring throughout the course of the semester which are relevant to the exhibition. The first by Lisa Minardi is entitled “Cloth is my Field, Needle is my Plow: Pennsylvania German Women’s Work” and will take place at 5:00 pm in Booth Ferris on October 3, 2019. Minardi will use her expertise as the director of the Center for Pennsylvania German Studies to provide context for Pennsylvania German textiles in the Phillips Museum collection. The second presentation is entitled “I Am: A Shared American Story” and will be hosted by Joan Gaither on November 21, 2019. Gaither, a documentary story quilter and former college professor from Baltimore, Maryland, will share her own narrative quilts with the F&M community. Both of these presentations are opportunities for the F&M community to engage with material culture at a deeper level and learn more about the Phillips Museum’s collection. 

The Phillips Museum describes itself on its website as “a forum for the creative process” which seeks to “foster an understanding and appreciation of the arts.” It first opened in the Steinman College Center in the year 2000 following a generous gift from Thomas G. Phillips III ‘54 and his wife, Virginia. Since then the museum has been a space for F&M students to explore creativity and culture through a variety of ever-changing exhibitions. The museum is open daily (including weekends) from 12-4pm with the exception of Thursdays, when it is open from 2-6pm. It is free and open to both members of the F&M community and the broader public.

News Editor Katherine Coble is a Senior at F&M, her email is kcoble@fandm.edu

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