On View

Aug 1 - Apr 3, 2010

Curated By

Joyce Corbett

Exhibition designer was Jeremiah Maloney. The exhibition was funded in part by The City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and The County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program.

The gift to Mingei International Museum of a personal archive and folk art collection from San Diegan Lucia Ionescu Kanchenian provided the impetus and inspiration for this exhibition. The richness of Romania’s related arts — costumes, textiles, architecture, works in wood, pottery and other objects of daily and ceremonial use — derives energy from the confluence of East and West. Although its present day borders were drawn during the twentieth century, the region has been inhabited by many great civilizations, among them the Roman, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires. Romanians, Hungarians, Saxon Germans, Armenians, Jews and Roma are all part of the rich cultural heritage of this land, adding variety and dimension to the art found there.

In addition to the Lucia Ionescu Kanchenian Collection, several other collections were represented in the exhibition. There were wooden chests and benches embellished with paint; pottery in fanciful forms for various uses; magnificent hand-embroidered costumes and textiles, each one specific to its own linguistic and geographical zone; New Year’s festival masks intended to frighten and colorful icons painted on glass. The exhibition also included a number of full costumes representing a variety of regions and a village room furnished in the style of Transylvania’s Maramures County. The Maryhill Museum of Art loaned several unique, folkloric items that are part of their collection from Queen Marie of Romania.

In addition to the Maryhill Museum of Art, lenders to the exhibition are Peggy Geyer, Dr. Katalin Kádár Lynn, Kathleen McLaughlin, Dr. Kiki Skagen Munshi, Sharon Sharpe, Ferenc Tobak and Dr. Ronald Wixman with photographs by Kathleen McLaughlin, Russell Young and Scott Eastman. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication made possible by a generous donation from Dr. Katalin Kádár Lynn.

A lecture, BEYOND DRACULA – Romanian History, Art and Lore, was presented by Dr. Kiki Skagen Munshi on the evening of Wednesday, August 4. A demonstration by the San Diego Creative Weaver’s Guild presented a range of regional techniques and styles, highlighting central and eastern European weavings on Saturday, October 30. A FOLK ART STUDIO on Saturday, December 11, 2010 learned to make holiday objects including reverse painting on glass. A concert entitled FROM THE CARPATHIANS TO THE BLACK SEA – A Musical Journey through Romania took place on the evening of Saturday, January 22, 2011. Ethnographer and musician Yale Strom, vocalist Elizabeth Schwartz and accordionist Peter Stan performed music from Romania’s Jewish and Rom communities.