Saturday, May 17, 2014

Our visit to the Maloof Foundation

Craft in America Center is teaming up with the Maloof Foundation to plan the upcoming show "California Craft Now," an exhibition that will celebrate the spirit of the California Design shows of the 1960s and 1970s. It is due to open mid-2015, so stay tuned.

We recently paid a visit to the Foundation, an idyllic place located at the foot of Mt. Baldy and nestled in a lemon grove. (They make lemonade often.) The site is ripe for quiet contemplation. It also has a lovely exhibition space and garden, both featuring quality shows right now. Craft at Play, on view in the Jacobs Education Center through October 31, brings together hand-crafted toys and other objects from cultures all over.

Rod puppet, Rita Amacher
(Traditional on Indonesian islands of Java and Bali)

Shadow puppets representing characters from Hindu tale of the Ramayana, from Indonesia
Parchment, horn and paint

Russian Matroyshka Nesting Dolls
The Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917), partial sequence ending with the immediate family of Nicholas III

On display in the garden is the Foundation's biennial Sculpture in the Garden exhibition, running through July 10. Walking through the space feels like an inadvertent treasure hunt; at any moment you'll find yourself standing before a magnificent sculpture.

Fib-Cluster #2, David Kiddie

Recuerdos, Karen Neiuber
Ceramic mosaic assemblage

Janus, Dora De Larios
Then, of course, there is the Maloof house, now a living museum. Sam Maloof was a master woodworker and leader of the California modern arts movement. He and his beloved wife, Alfreda, made a resounding impact on the world of craft. Their home is not just an intimate time capsule but a living spirit of the arts and crafts movement-- the ceramics, rugs and, of course, the woodwork, speak to the evocative nature of craft materials and their ability to dance with another.

Sam Maloof's home, Alta Loma, California

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