Objects of Note | Mingei International Museum

At Mingei you can find craft, folk art and design around every corner. Everyday objects such as curtains, ceilings and flooring have been transformed into works of art.

Claudy Jongstra | Truth & Beauty in Black

Location: ARTIFACT at Mingei

Claudy Jongstra is known internationally for her majestic artworks and architectural installations. Jongstra’s organic surfaces and nuanced tones reflect her innovations in the ancient technique of making wool felt. Truth & Beauty in Black—a 30’ felted mural above the bar functions as a sound-dampening textile within ARTIFACT at Mingei, the Museum's full-service bistro. In this large-scale installation, Jongstra explores the cultural history of indigo (a dye omnipresent in Mingei’s collection) and the origins of the color black seen in Renaissance paintings. Together, Burgundian Black and Indigo make for a stunning color palette and textural surface.

Funding for this installation was made possible in part by Gordon Brodfuehrer.

Petra Blaisse | Sessions

Location: Theater

Sessions, a billowing, acoustic curtain that stretches along the entire length of the 40-foot retractable glass wall in the Theater. Inspiration for the curtain came from the leaf of the jacaranda tree, introduced to San Diego by designer and horticulturist Kate Sessions, considered “The Mother of Balboa Park.” The materials include double-sided dyed felt cutouts arranged in a non-uniform pattern, evoking wave-like movement. In the corner of each cutout is a button fastening the pieces together. The felt cutouts are then backed with an additional layer of sheer silk organza featuring tones of ink blue, Yves Klein blue, and light gray. Learn more

Jennifer Luce & A. Zahner | Hedgerow

Location: Courtyard

Architect Jennifer Luce collaborated with metal fabricator A. Zahner, to create Hedgerow, a sculptural fence that defines the new public courtyard. Sixty-four individually crafted brass pickets are cut by digital processes and then hand-turned and twisted to represent a celebration of a traditional material (brass) rendered in the 21st century by machine and hand.

Bistro Bar Counter | Tule Peak Timber

Location: ARTIFACT at Mingei

ARTIFACT, the Museum’s full-service bistro, is the center of the bustling life on the Commons Level in the new Museum, and the bar counter will be a visual and social focus for the dining space. Inspired by the craft and detail found in the works of George Nakashima, Sam Maloof, and others of the period, this island top is made from solid old-growth California walnut, found and reclaimed by Tule Peak Timber, especially for Mingei. Twelve large slabs make up a 30’ length span. Each slab maintains its natural beauty and imperfections and the whole top is ‘stitched’ together with metal butterfly joints as well as quilted inlays of wood.

Christina Kim | liquid2solid

Location: Gallery Level

Christina's work liquid2solid is a series of flowing temporary curtains located around the Gallery level. Made from Dyneema®, a technical fabric often used for tents, the curtain is layered, embellished, and hand-stitched to perfect imperfection. Her hand-stitched seams travel haphazardly across the translucent textile both revealing and obscuring the view through to the other side. This functional work of art will be used while the galleries are transitioning exhibitions providing visitors a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work at the Museum.

Christina Kim | sugi / kuruminoki

Location: Founders Gallery

Christina also created two cut paper interlayers to cover the windows titled sugi / kuruminoki. Located in the room’s circular window, sugi was inspired by George Nakashima’s Cedar of Lebanon drawing, while kuruminoki covers the room's rectangular window and was inspired by Nakashima’s Walnut tree drawing. Both works are a nod to the room's beloved Mira Nakashima table, Frenchman's Cove III, and conoid chairs. Using papel picado techniques on handmade Japanese paper, both works were meticulously crafted to allow just the right amount of light to enter the room.

Funding for these works was made possible by Abby and Ray Weiss.

Jennifer Luce & A. Zahner | Suspended Refrain

Location: ARTIFACT and Shop Mingei Ceiling

With a goal of subtly creating separate areas of use in the open Commons level, architect Jennifer Luce worked with A. Zahner to create Suspended Refrain, a perforated metal ceiling above Shop Mingei and ARTIFACT, the Museum's full-service bistro. The cambered ceiling canopy is composed of five ribbons, digitally die-cut and punched to authentically render a player piano roll song, “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?”, a favorite of executive director Rob Sidner.

Learn more about the inspiration behind Suspended Refrain by watching this short video.

Purchase a ticket today!

Explore folk art, craft, and design from across cultures and time.