Binary Visions: 19th-Century Woven Coverlets from the Collection of Historic Huguenot Street
Curated by Leslie LeFevre-Stratton and Brian Wallace
October 16 – December 12, 2010
January 26 – March 18, 2011
Sara Bedrick Gallery
To see more images of the coverlets on display, please visit the website organised by Historic Huguenot Street in conjunction with Hudson River Valley Heritage (CLICK HERE).
This exhibition, selected from the extensive textile collections at Historic Huguenot Street, will feature thirty coverlets woven from cotton and wool on water-powered looms in small factories across the mid-Hudson Valley during the first half of the 19th century. These coverlets present a striking range of representational and geometric imagery and will be installed emphasizing visual correlations over historical or geographical connections, allowing visitors to view, compare, and contrast dozens of coverlets at once. The exhibition will be a particularly important opportunity for historians and scholars to conceive new ways of thinking about the visual power of these coverlets.
The coverlets in this exhibition embody technical and manufacturing advances that were first made in the mid-Hudson Valley starting in the 18th century that enabled local weavers—primarily men trained in the carpet weaving industry—to create bed covers of particularly rich and striking designs for their clientele, primarily in rural communities throughout the area.
Binary Visions will focus on a select group of coverlets chosen for their strong graphic appeal, pattern play, and optical complexity. Many of these coverlets from the HHS collection have local family provenance—originating in Ulster, Orange, and Dutchess counties. United for the first time in one exhibition, the coverlets will be displayed in groups that emphasize, compare, and contrast formal design elements and embody several important weaving techniques.
Major support for this exhibition and its related programs has been provided by The Coby Foundation, Marianne Murray and Richard Rowley, with additional support from the Hudson Valley Federal Credit Union. Funding for Dorsky Museum exhibitions and programs is provided by the Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the State University of New York at New Paltz.