Textiles from the Wiener Werkstätte at the Busch-Reisinger, Solstice Soirée at the Gardner, Faculty Exhibition at BU, and Holiday Sale at Harvard’s Ceramics Studio
By RANDI HOPKINS  |  December 11, 2007
Josef Hoffmann, Crane Fly

The same early-20th-century Vienna that eventually produced Freud, Schoenberg, and Wittgenstein was also the site of a renaissance in arts and crafts — the likes of Josef Hofmann and Gustav Klimt inspired artisans to bring more-abstract art and purer forms to the design of buildings and furniture, glass, and metalwork. Artists involved with the Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshops), which was founded in 1903 by Hoffmann and artist Koloman Moser, developed a distinctive modern style characterized by simple shapes, minimal decoration, and geometric patterning. The fabrics and designs of the Weiner Werkstätte’s groundbreaking textile department are the subject of a free discussion — part of the “Close-Up: Study Room Collections” series — at Harvard’s Busch-Reisinger Museum on December 15. In an hour-long seminar, “DESIGNED FOR THE 20TH CENTURY: WIENER WERKSTÄTTE COSTUME AND TEXTILES,” curatorial fellow Heather Hess will examine the intersection of design and society through examples of fashion and textile designs.

Wiener Werkstätte Costume and Textiles” at Busch-Reisinger Museum, 32 Quincy St, Cambridge | December 15: 11:30 am–12:30 pm | 617.495.9400 | “Gardner After Hours” at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 280 the Fenway, Boston | December 20: 5-9 pm | non-members $12; college students $5 | 617.566.1401 | “Boston University Faculty Exhibition 2007” at 808 Gallery, 808 Comm Ave, Boston | through January 6 | 617.358.0922 | “Holiday Show & Sale” at Harvard’s Ceramics Program Studio, 219 Western Avenue, Boston | December 14-16 | 617.495.8680
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is a great place to linger at any time of day, but there’s something magical about being there at night. Recently the Gardner has been opening its palatial doors to the public on the third Thursday evening of each month for “GARDNER AFTER HOURS,” with live music and cocktails in the courtyard. This month’s party, on December 20, is called “A Solstice Soirée,” and in addition to festive music and drinks, visitors can view Cliff Evans’s five-channel video installation Empyrean in the first-floor special-exhibitions gallery and enjoy a conversation between Evans and Boston Cyberarts founder and director George Fifield.

The vast expanse of space that is 808 Gallery is given over to a special, once-every-three-years event this season with the “BOSTON UNIVERSITY FACULTY EXHIBITION 2007,” which, on view through January 6, offers work by 25 artists who teach at BU, among them sculptors Sachiko Akiyama and Eamon Brown and painters Dana Clancy and Harold Reddicliffe.

Holiday craft sales — an entertaining way to shop — are in full swing, with their unexpected treasures, their amusing and/or unidentifiable clunkers, and, if you’re lucky, just the right thing for Mr. or Ms. X. Harvard’s Ceramics Program (on Western Avenue) brings us the “HOLIDAY SHOW & SALE” December 14-16 — handmade work by more than 50 potters and sculptors associated with the program, which offers courses and workshops to the Boston community throughout the year.

On the Web
Busch-Reisinger Museum:
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum:
808 Gallery:
Harvard’s Ceramics Program Studio:

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