Posted on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 11:26am

It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Lloyd Cotsen, collector and philanthropist, passed away peacefully at home on May 8, 2017.  He lived an extraordinary life for 88 years, with a loving spirit and a generous heart.  We will all miss his judgment and his artistic sensitivity as his vital work continues.
 
Mr. Cotsen began collecting in the early 1960s, and had a particular interest in fiber art. In 2008, he donated a large collection of baskets by contemporary artists to RAM. This 151 piece collection augmented the museum’s existing collection of 300 basket works, making RAM one of the largest public repositories of this type of art in the United States.
 
In an excerpt from the 2008 publication, Basketworks: The Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection, Bruce W. Pepich, Executive Director and Curator of Collections wrote: “The arrival of the Cotsen Contemporary American Basket Collection at RAM positively impacts a permanent collection that is already actively documenting the basket making field. This gift established a broad record of a wide range of activity that took place in the fibers field at the end of the 20th century. We are very grateful to him for his generosity to RAM and thank him for the supportive contributions he has made to the field of contemporary fibers."
 
On May 21, 2017, RAM opened The Box Project: Uncommon Threads showcasing commissioned works by 36 of the world’s top fiber artists. These artists, many of whom work on a large scale, were challenged to create an original piece within the confines of a small box. Organized by the Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research (CFAR) with RAM, this traveling exhibition presents works commissioned by Lloyd Cotsen between 2004 and 2013 together with 22 large-scale fiber art pieces on loan. Open through August 27, 2017, RAM is the only Midwestern venue for this show before its final stop in Washington, D.C. We are honored to present The Box Project: Uncommon Threads at RAM as a tribute to Mr. Cotsen’s legacy.
 
If you would like to read more about Mr. Cotsen, please follow the links below from the LA Times and The New York Times.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times

Read more in The New York Times

 
Posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 11:33am

RAM has learned, with sadness, of the death on April 7 of John Glick, one of the nation’s most respected studio potters. Glick operated Plum Tree Pottery in Farmington Hills, Michigan, in suburban Detroit from 1964 through 2016. He had recently closed the pottery to retire to California with his wife, looking forward to the next stage in his life.

Glick was a Detroit native who was born in 1938 and received his MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1962. His work is infused with a quite sense of experimentation in patterning and glaze decoration. Both his forms and surfaces demonstrated a respect for Asian aesthetics and decorative arts traditions. Glick was internationally respected and admired in the field, having published numerous articles on ceramics and appearing in more than 30 books on ceramics around the world. He was an avid leader of workshops and throughout his career he offered an assistantship program, through which Glick mentored 33 young ceramists, many of whom have gone on to their own successful careers in the field.

Glick received two Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Awards in 1961 and 1972, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships in 1977 and 1988, and a Michigan Foundation for the Arts Governor’s Award in 1977. His work is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York City; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. In 2016, he was the subject of a career retrospective at the Cranbrook Art Museum, John Glick: A Legacy in Clay. RAM currently holds seven examples of Glick’s work in its collection and he has been represented by the RAM Museum Store since 2014.

 
Posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 11:10am

Racine Art Museum will receive a grant from Racine Community Foundation to support the expansion of the RAM on the Road program to include all Racine Unified School District second-grade students. RAM's Wustum Museum is nationally known for its outreach programs that encourage at-risk children to stay in school and help establish an environment of lifelong interest in the arts. RAM on the Road drives the museum's quality educational art programs to the community delivering art teachers, materials and supplies to schools, day cares, senior centers, and everywhere along the way.

For More Information

 
Posted on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 5:11pm

The internationally known art jeweler, Nel Linssen, died on August 1, 2016 in the Netherlands where she lived her entire life. She was born in 1935 and began her art career as a figurative textile artist in the 1970s. Exposure to quilts led to Linssen’s experimentation with paper and its flexibility. Her first exhibition of paper bracelets took place in 1986 and she has since become well-known for using this everyday material to make subtly colored, rhythmically structured neckpieces and bracelets. Her work is particularly noted for the textures and kinds of paper she utilized and her folding and construction techniques. Her work is in many jewelry collections in museums around the world. RAM currently owns four examples of Linssen’s work—two neckpieces and two bracelets. Her work has been in RAM’s collection since the arrival of the first bracelet in 2008 in the Donna Schneier jewelry collection. She was most recently shown at RAM in Paper/Plastic: Contemporary Adornment in 2016.
 
For more information on the artist and her work, visit her website or Art Jewelry Forum

 
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 1:18pm

Randall Darwall, one of the finest hand weavers in the US, died Friday, January 13, 2017. Born in 1948, he studied painting but became attracted to the structure of the weaving process early in his career. Over the following decades, he created hand-woven cloth that is surprising in its complex color palette shifts and patterns. Working in silk to develop glowing color surfaces, he has become internationally known for the scarves and shawls made from his lush painterly fabrics. For over 25 years Darwall had also been working collaboratively with his life partner, Brian Murphy, who designs clothing made from Darwall’s cloth. Darwall studied at Harvard College and the Rhode Island School of Design. The work of this greatly-admired artist is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. RAM holds an archive of 22 Darwall works that began to arrive in the collection in 1992. A number of these pieces were included in RAM Collects Contemporary Art to Wear which just closed on December 30.

View Darwall's segment on the PBS Series Craft in America

 
Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 12:18pm

The internationally recognized ceramic sculptor, Akio Takamori, died last Wednesday, January 11, 2017. He was born in 1950 in Japan where he received his initial introduction to ceramics. He moved to the US to study further at the Kansas City Art Institute (BFA) and Alfred University in New York (MFA). His first national attention came in the 1980s for large-scale dimensional vessels that depicted nude figures. He then started a long-term series of freestanding figures of Japanese villagers that were frequently displayed in groupings. Takamori was a much-loved teacher who served on the art faculty at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1993 until his retirement in 2014. Takamori’s work is in museum collections around the world including: the Museum of Arts and Design, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. RAM owns six examples of his work which have been a part of RAM’s collection and exhibition programs since the arrival of two pieces in the Donna Moog Teapot Collection in 2000.

Read a story on the artist from The Seattle Times