Wednesday, December 9, 2020, 8 am
Following Rosie Lee Tompkins: Reflections on the Exhibition
(Katie Cleese Photography)
Elaine Y. Yau, PhD
Associate Curator, the Eli Leon Living Trust Collection of African American Quilts
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
Attention all lovers of textile arts, modern art, women-artists, and those who just love a good story! Our December 2020 meeting will feature Dr. Elaine Y. Yau, the Co-Curator of the Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) at the University of California, Berkeley.
Rosie Lee Tompkins was a Bay Area artist working in Richmond. Quoting from the exhibition notes, “Rosie Lee Tompkins (1936–2006) is widely considered one of the most brilliant and inventive quiltmakers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Her reputation has grown to the point where her work is no longer considered solely within the context of quilting, but celebrated among the great American artistic achievements of our time. Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective is the largest and most comprehensive exhibition of the artist’s work to date, featuring approximately seventy quilts, pieced tops, embroideries, assemblages, and decorated objects. It reveals Tompkins to be an artist of extraordinary variety, depth, and impact.”
We are honored to present Dr. Elaine Yau, Co-Curator of the current exhibition. She will give us an overview of the galleries before turning to reflections on the exhibition itself (approaches, surprises, and the curatorial process) and her current thinking about an upcoming quilt exhibition she is organizing for BAMPFA that is scheduled to open in Fall 2023.
Dr. Yau is associate curator of the Eli Leon Living Trust Collection of African American Quilts at the University of California, BAMPFA. Prior to this appointment, she was the museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow and co-curated Rosie Lee Tompkins: A Retrospective with Lawrence Rinder. Dr. Yau’s research interests include histories of modern art’s engagement with folkways and vernacular culture, as well as American material and visual culture more broadly – topics addressed in her recent essays published in Panorama: The Journal of the Associations of Historians of American Art and the Routledge Companion to African American Art History. She received her doctorate in History of Art from UC Berkeley.
The New York Times judged this exhibition important enough to give it the cover plus three full pages in its Arts & Leisure section last summer in an article entitled “Radical Quilting.” Here is a link to the virtual exhibition at BAMPFA if you want a sneak peek before Dr. Yau’s talk. And then join us on December 9 for this important talk about a visionary local artist.
If you would like to invite a guest, please email Becky Bingea at Rbingea@comcast.net so she can add her to our guest list and send her the Zoom link.
PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THE ZOOM LINK WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.