A new exhibit, Anonymous: 19th and 20th Century Photographs and Quilts by Unknown Artists from the Collection of Robert Flynn Johnson, will run August 5 through September 18 at Petaluma Arts Center, 230 Lakeville Street, Petaluma. Anonymous photography has a magical and mysterious quality. The nineteenth and twentieth century images assembled here by collector and curator Robert Flynn Johnson are by turn poignant, humorous, erotic, and disturbing. Their subject is the human condition. Although the artists are unknown, the photographs could be made by anyone who has ever used a camera.
Johnson’s search for vernacular photographs led him to discover another form of memory-gathering and he began collecting hand-made quilts. He found the same mystery and poignant humanity in quilts, pieced together from family clothing and fabrics.
Recently retired as curator in charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, a position he held since 1975, Robert Flynn Johnson is the author of numerous books and critical essays. Two recent books will be on sale at the Petaluma Art Center during the exhibition: Anonymous: Enigmatic Images from Unknown Photographers and The Face in the Lens: Anonymous Photography.
The exhibition includes 12 quilts and numerous photographic images from Johnson’s second book, The Face in the Lens. Selected photographs from the author’s collection will be offered for sale. Johnson will sign both books at the August 14 panel discussion with San Francisco gallery owners and fellow collectors, Stephen Wirtz and Robert Tat.
Saturday, August 13, 4-7pm (in conjunction with Petaluma Downtown Art Walk)
Discussion and Book Signing
Sunday, August 14 – 2 to 4pm
Anonymous curator, Robert Flynn Johnson in conversation with fellow collectors, gallery owners Stephen Wirtz and Robert Tat Robert Flynn Johnson will sign copies of his books on the works of unknown photographers. $5 donation.
Sharing our Favorite Quits Saturday, August 27, 2pm Roderick Kiracofe The American Quilt: A History of Cloth and Comfort Author, collector and gallerist Rodney Kiracofe is a scholar of the American Quilt. He will bring some of his favorite quilts to this salon and encourages attendees to do the same. This is an opportunity to share these treasures with others and to answer questions about the collection and conservation of historic quilts.
Saturday August 27 – 10 am to 1pm (meet Sonya for a gallery tour at 9:30am)
~Patchwork Pillow Cover~
The pillow cover (approx 14 x 14) will be embellished with: lace, doilies, embroidery and buttons from family clothing and interior fabrics that are supplied by the students. $50 (for an adult with a child age 8 and up).
~Pockets to Bags with Sonya Lee Barrington~
Saturday, September 19 – 1- 4 pm (meet Sonya for a gallery tour at 12:30 pm) Turn a pair of old Jeans into a purse or carry-all. $50 (for an adult with a child age 8 and up).
Telephone: 707-584-2000 Fax: 707-585-1363