San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
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20012 Schedule of Exhibitions


Apocalypse Clouds, 1970
58" x 1.5"
From the Collection of the Stanford Library of Art and Architecture


Haena Point (Hawaiian Sunset No. 1), 1979
63" x 67"
From the Collection of the Stanford Library of Art and Architecture


Poppies, 1976
56" x 42"
From the E. Mark Adams and Beth Van Hoesen Adams Trust

May 15 – July 29, 2012
Mark Adams
Opening Reception on May 20, Sunday, 2 – 4pm
Members-Only Walkthrough on May 20, Sunday, 1pm
June 21, 22, 23: Tapestry Weaving and the Language of Color Workshop
June 24: Mark Adams: His Tapestry and Collaborators Symposium
Email to make a reservation: rsvp@sjquiltmuseum.org

The bold designs, rich colors and dramatic scale of Mark Adams’ (1925-2006) pictorial tapestries will provide a visual feast for visitors to the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles from May 15-July 29, 2012. The exhibition, Mark Adams, features works that span four decades of the artist’s career, generously lent for this occasion by his family, private collectors, Stanford University Library of Art and Architecture, The Oakland Museum of California, and the Racine Art Museum. On view will be over twenty five tapestries, several full-scale painted studies (cartoons) and photographs of the artist by Minor White and Imogen Cunningham never before assembled in one exhibition.

Although Adams is known as a consummate San Francisco Bay Area artist, his work in tapestry is a unique synthesis of ideas and aesthetics gained from study with world-renowned international artists in the mid-1940’s, notably the painter Hans Hoffman in New York, and the tapestry designer Jean Lurcat, at the Ecole Nationale d’Art Decoratif in Aubusson, France.

Adams played a pivotal role in the Bay Area fiber art renaissance of the 1960s through the 1980s. Of note, he was commissioned by the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco to design a tapestry that was woven as an educational feature of their landmark exhibition “Five Centuries of Tapestry” in 1976. This project became the catalyst for the formation of the San Francisco Tapestry Workshop, a weaving atelier and school that produced many of Adam’s tapestry commissions as well as tapestries for Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” project. Three generations of contemporary tapestry artists have been greatly influenced by Adam’s legacy of technique, composition and exquisite color.

In his more than sixty-year career, Mark Adams produced a prolific body of work in painting, tapestry, and stained glass. Large-scale commissions can be viewed in San Francisco at Temple Emanu-El, Grace Episcopal Cathedral and at the International Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport, where his tapestry triptych “Gardens” (1981-1983) has recently been re-installed following the new airport construction project.

Mark Adams is supported in part by a gift from Tapestry Weavers West.