Mint Museum of Art – Craft + Design

Eric and I went to the Mint Museum of Art – Craft + Design in Charlotte before school started.  I am just now getting these pictures off of my phone.  The museum is located right in downtown Charlotte, just across from Discovery Place, the science museum.  The museum was not a very big one, yet had a very interesting variety of objects/pieces.  The artwork ranged from quilts to furniture. 
This assemblage sculpture, called Soundsuit, by Nick Cave, was one of my favorite things in the museum. 
The museum had an impressive collection of American quilts, these are only on display until February 2010.  It amazes me to think that these women sewed everything by hand.  To look at the tiny stitching up close, made me realize what an amazing feat quilting really is.  There were even a couple crib quilts, which I guess in the quilt world are quite rare.  It was interesting to read about how the quilts were identified by region and the possible maker. 
The other amazing pieces were the carved wooden furniture and objects.  There was a ebony desk that boggled my mind.  Woodworking is something I have never been very skilled at, perhaps because I have never had the chance to really try it, therefore I am in awe of well made objects from wood.  Check out the website for even more objects from the Mint collection. 
Interesting side note: “The Mint Museum of Art initially served the region as the first branch of the United States Mint, coining $5 million in gold from 1836 to the outbreak of the Civil War. A grassroots community effort during the Depression saved the original Federal-style building designed by William Strickland from demolition and moved it to its present Randolph Road site. The museum formally opened to the public on October 22, 1936 as North Carolina’s first art museum.”
The Mint Museum of Craft + Design: “The Mint Museum of Craft + Design is the culmination of Bank of America’s donation and renovation of the four-story Montaldo’s department store, designed by Charlotte architect Louis Asbury in 1953. The site previously served as the J.M. Harry Funeral Home and as the Wadsworth Livery Stable.”
The gift shop was superb.  I always love museum gift shops because of the wide array of artsy things.

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