The next time you visit NMWA, stop by the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center to see books that complement our exhibitions as well as reliable favorites.
I AM ANNA: A homage to Anna Ancher (Skagens Museum, 2009)
Inspired by the Anna Ancher exhibition (on view through May 12) and keen to learn more about the artist? The library has several books about Ancher, Skagen, and other female Scandinavian artists. I AM ANNA: A Homage to Anna Ancher, a 2009 exhibition catalogue from Skagens Museum, presents biographical and scholarly insight into this gifted Danish artist. Beautiful color reproductions of her work are organized by 12 themes, complemented by five essays written by authors who have special knowledge of Ancher, each sharing their understanding of her work and life. A highly readable book for both general readers and art historians.
Gee’s Bend: The Women and Their Quilts (Tinwood Books, 2002)
The women of Gee’s Bend, an isolated African-American community in Alabama, are known for their stunningly beautiful, colorful quilts. From the early 20th century to today, multiple generations of quilters have produced hundreds of masterpieces that preserve textile traditions and transform utilitarian handiwork into visual expressions of vibrancy, strength, and creativity.
This is the book that I pull out for anyone interested in inspiration for quilting and African-American art, and it always pleases. Well-researched and produced, this exhibition catalogue treats readers to 546 illustrations (488 of which are in full color) and biographical sketches of the quilters, drawn from hundreds of hours of interviews. It presents more than just a collection of quilts; its aim was to document the culture of Gee’s Bend and the importance of quilts in family and society. We highly recommend this to anyone who loves quilts and colorful art!
We welcome all to stop by to look at these beautiful books in person. We’re open to the public Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library makes a great starting point on the fourth floor! In addition to the beautiful books and comfy reading chairs, visitors enjoy interesting library exhibitions featuring artists’ books, archival manuscripts, and rare books. Reference Desk staff are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. We hope to see you soon!
—Jennifer Page is the library assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.