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David Butler at JMKAC

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May 21 – Sep 10, 2017

In Shelter: David Butler, Leslie Umberger collaborates in exploring relationships between the art environment of David Butler and the work of southern African American quiltmakers. Included in the exhibition are works by Butler from the Arts Center’s collection and on loan from the American Folk Art Museum, and improvisational quilts dating from the first half of the twentieth century by unknown makers on loan from the collection of Corrine Riley.

Text reproduced from jmkac.org:

Born in Saint Mary Parish, David Butler (1898–1997) lived in New Hope, near Patterson, Louisiana. In his early sixties, he suffered a work-related accident and was forced to retire. With time on his hands, Butler began to fill his yard with all manner of cutout sculptures. Using the most basic materials and tools, he crafted wildly imaginative and kinetic sculptures that formed the basis for a ”yard show”—an African American tradition common in the South—around his modest home. Colorfully painted and patterned exotic animals, sea creatures, farm animals, and imaginary forms populated his yard.

Leslie Umberger, curator of folk and self-taught art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, draws comparisons between Butler’s environment and the improvisational quilts made by African American women across the South.

John Michael Kohler Arts Center
608 New York Ave, Sheboygan, WI 53081