Shelter, Place, Social, Distance: Contemporary Dialogues from the Permanent Collection
August 1, 2020 - November 22, 2020
Since the initial outbreak in Wuhan, China, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption around the world, from economic uncertainty to national public health emergencies to mandated quarantines. As the global community struggled to make sense of it all, an explosion of new words and phrases emerged. This pervasive terminology—shelter in place, social distancing, flatten the curve, PPE, and more—offered a practical shorthand with which to frame the rapidly changing world and united us through shared cultural touchpoints.
While many terms are inextricably associated with the pandemic, certain words, when decontextualized, represent recurring themes in contemporary craft. In this regard, Shelter, Place, Social, Distance: Contemporary Dialogues from the Permanent Collection adopts the COVID-19 lexicon as a conceptual springboard for exploring how the universal subjects of home, placemaking, community, and isolation are represented in Fuller Craft Museum’s permanent collection. The artworks, created at different times throughout the institution’s history, offer a new lens through which to examine a historic event, even as it continues to unfold. And like all great works of art, the forms invigorate our understanding of the times in which we live.
Image: Thomas Loeser, Double Rocker Back to Back, 2005, Cherry, maple, milk paint, 51″ x 52.5″ x 17.5″ Photo credit: Dean Powell