Many people had a lot of downtime in 2020; so much downtime that they began developing new hobbies and taking up craft projects. The Speed Art Museum’s exhibit Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper, which will run through August 22, 2021, takes the idea of crafting with paper, glue, and paint to a mind-blowing level.
Curator Erika Holmquist-Wall says Isabelle de Borchgrave was inspired by historic costumes and portraits during a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, New York. “She was interested in trying to recreate them out of paper and make them come to life,” she says. “Her work brings together the simplest and humblest of materials. She literally just uses rolls of craft paper to create these incredible confections.”
The Speed Art Museum is the first venue in this second tour of de Borchgrave’s work in the US. While the interpretive text and labels in the exhibit are the same no matter which city it travels to, curators do have some flexibility to make the exhibit unique to each institution. “For example, there’s a whole section on the Medici family from Renaissance Florence. We’re looking at how do you build a family tree or timeline of how these people are related to each other. So there’s flexibility there to add additional layers of interpretation for our audience,” Erika says.
Most traveling art exhibitions run about 12 weeks, but the Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper will have a much longer stay in Louisville which gives residents more opportunities to visit (and revisit) the exhibit. The curatorial team has had to completely revamp its exhibit logistics due to COVID-19 to ensure masked visitors have ample space to move through the space in a safe way.
By Carrie Vittitoe | Photos submitted