Miriam Carpenter exhibition at the Michener Art Museum

“FEATHERS”: Works by Miriam Carpenter are featured in “Shaping the Ethereal,” her first solo show at the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The exhibition is visible until March 20.

The Michener Art Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, now presents “Miriam Carpenter: Shaping the Ethereal”, an exhibition featuring sculptures, furniture, prints and drawings by cabinet maker, designer and artist Miriam Carpenter. It is visible until March 20.

In this exhibition, her first solo show at the Michener Art Museum, Carpenter explores the possibilities of materials as she seeks to create new forms and solve complex design problems. Appearing deceptively simple at first glance, each of Carpenter’s pieces involves complex calculations and an intimate understanding of the material she chose.

Laura Igoe, Chief Curator of Michener and Curator of the Exhibition, said: “Miriam Carpenter’s work is strikingly beautiful and surprisingly complex. She takes inspiration from the natural world and encourages viewers to be more attuned to the beauty around us, from the smallest feather to the largest tree.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Carpenter developed her deep appreciation for materials during the seven years she designed furniture with Mira Nakashima, daughter of carpenter, architect and furniture maker George Nakashima (1905-1990). At the George Nakashima Woodworkers Studio in New Hope, Pa., Carpenter learned to read the life of a tree through the knots, veins and rings of its wood.

Carpenter discovered that “each tree has its own unique experience and characteristics formed by its location, the effects of the seasons, the wind, the rain and what grew next to it. The history of each year is physically recorded in each ring slowly reacting to external and internal stresses after its death and logging. Reading this story in grain is just as exciting to me as turning it into an artefact. “

In 2012, she began carving intricate small feathers, shown in the exhibition, which incorporate the pattern and structure of the wood grain into the final design of the object. These wooden feathers are extremely fine and finely detailed. For Carpenter, they symbolize “what is ethereal… a testament to the resilience of nature”.

On November 11, at 6 p.m., the Michener Art Museum will host a panel discussion on Women in Crafts, bringing together expert women and expert practitioners in contemporary woodworking. Moderated by Emily Zilber, Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Partnerships at the Wharton Esherick Museum, panelists include Mira Nakashima, President and Creative Director of George Nakashima Woodworkers; Jennifer-Navva Milliken, artistic director of the Wood Art Center; and carpenter.

The Michener Art Museum is located at 138 South Pine Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Hours of operation are Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Friday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit MichenerArtMuseum.org or call (215) 340-9800.


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