Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Art of Paula Nadelstern

The American Folk Art Museum is the site of the first major exhibit by a solo quilter and Paula Nadelstern's brilliant work is beautifully showcased in this little gem of a museum. Known for her incredible kaleidoscope quilts, Nadelstern, who is also a New Yorker, was the perfect quilter for this honor. Having the opportunity to study her work up close was an incredible treat. I loved coming across a tiny piece of fabric and recognizing it as something from my stash, and then being totally blown away by her use of these fabrics in her bilateral symmetry quilt smorgasbords. The museum has paired her quilts with several actual kaleidoscopes and her snowflake quilts feature an allied display about Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley, the famous photographer of snowflakes.

I was able to visit the exhibit on a weekday and had the entire gallery to myself for most of an hour. If you are anywhere near the greater New York City area, I strongly urge you to get to this exhibit before it closes on September 13th. If you can't make it, there are several videos at the AFAM link above and Bonnie McCaffery did a really good vidcast with Paula that's available from her site.

Ever the souvenir collector, I picked up several things in AFAM's lovely little gift shop, including this lustrous group of fat quarters from Paula's Benartex collection called Opulence.

This is a postcard of Paula's quilt Kaleidoscopic XXXIII: Shards (2007). It is part of the exhibit and is a testament to her incomparable construction techniques.

I took a picture for Dan while I was walking back from the Paula Nadelstern exhibit and he's now put it up on his blog. I knew it would be his kind of billboard. Thanks for the shout-out, buddy.


Sandy said...

Dana, these really are beautiful. I will have to settle for the video, unfortunately - but thanks for letting us know it exists!

Mary on Lake Pulaski said...

You found a great exhibit in New York Dana. I would love to see it, but won't make it any time soon so thanks for the photos.

Dana W. Fisher said...

You're very welcome, Sandy. Thanks for visiting.

Hi Mary. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

All the best,

Kelly Ann said...

Dana I'm so jealous...I love Paula Nadelsterns quilts....

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Kelly Ann,
I feel very fortunate to have seen her work in person.
All the best,

quiltcat said...

Hi Dana. what a great exhibit to see! I have loved Paula Nadelstern's work for a long time. Her first book shows her making her quilts on a Featherweight at a tiny table in her New York apartment kitchen!

Dana W. Fisher said...

Hi Cat,
According to the exhibit information, she still works something like this, although her daughter now has her own apartment, so she has another space in addition to the kitchen now.
All the best,