Buttons On! marks the first-ever retrospective for creative artist, Beau McCall. Proclaimed by American Craft magazine as “The Button Man,” McCall creates wearable and visual art by hand-sewing clothing buttons onto mostly upcycled fabrics, materials, and objects. Buttons On! showcases pieces from McCall’s nearly forty-year career, the debut of several new and specially-commissioned works, and select archival material. Organized into several themes, the exhibition explores McCall’s mastery of the button and commentary on topics such as pop culture and social justice.
The exhibition’s four themes include: “Buttons on the Body,” “Buttons on the Mind,” “Buttons on the Soul,” and “Buttons Off,” each one representing a different facet of McCall’s creative practice. Visitors will experience McCall’s button-embellished plethora of wearable art including jackets, vests, yokes, shorts, aprons, sneakers, jewelry, and durags; visual art such as a 450-pound cast iron bathtub, a life-size Kool-Aid Man, and an installation of over 100 jars of buttons; mostly never-before-seen archival materials documenting McCall’s career and evolution; and a few select items of McCall’s buttonless works that spotlight his versatility and boundless creativity.
Visitors are invited to share their “button” experiences in the form of art and text, which becomes part of the exhibition.
Get ready to put your buttons on! #BeauMcCall
Guest curated by Souleo and organized by Beth C. McLaughlin, Fuller Craft Museum’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator.
Beau McCall: Buttons On! Opening Reception – Register Here
Museum of Craft and Design (San Francisco, CA) from May 10, 2025 through September 14, 2025
Mattatuck Museum (Waterbury, CT) from October 12, 2025 through January 4, 2026
About the Artist:
Beau McCall creates wearable and visual art by applying clothing buttons onto mostly upcycled fabrics, materials, and objects. His artworks, offering commentary on topics such as pop culture and social justice, have been included in exhibitions at The Museum at FIT (New York, NY), Nordstrom, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA), Houston Museum of African American Culture (Houston, TX), Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI), Stax Museum of American Soul Music (Memphis, TN), Black Fashion Museum (New York, NY), the Langston Hughes House in partnership with the inaugural Columbia University Wallach Art Gallery Uptown triennial and StoryCorps (New York, NY), and Rush Arts Gallery (New York, NY). McCall’s work is held in the permanent collection of public institutions and by private individuals, including the Museum of Arts and Design (New York, NY), Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA), Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK), The Museum at FIT (New York, NY), Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (New York, NY), Amistad Research Center (New Orleans, LA), The Museum of Modern Art Library (New York, NY), Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art (New York, NY), Stonewall National Museum, Archives & Library (Fort Lauderdale, FL), and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Library (San Francisco, CA), Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors” Residence, Debbie Harry of Blondie, Jeffrey Gibson, and Cristina Grajales. beaumccall.com