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Racine, WI     December 1, 2011
RAM Presents In-Depth: Dorothy Gill Barnes and David Ellsworth

Dorothy Gill Barnes, Pine Branch Stripped, 1987
Pine branches, Racine Art Museum, Gift of Donna Moog Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI

The Racine Art Museum delves into natural color with over 35 works by two leading internationally recognized craft artists. Open November 20, 2011 through January 15, 2012, Collection Focus: Dorothy Gill Barnes and David Ellsworth spotlights the use of organic materials, primarily wood and bark of various trees. Although each artist's work is very different in terms of structure and the process of creation, their sculptural objects and vessels will be displayed together to establish a visual and critical survey of their similarities and differences.


Although Dorothy Gill Barnes is usually categorized as a fiber artist, RAM's collection of her work concentrates on sculptures she has created from trees, especially from their bark and limbs. Barnes is known for developing a distinct working process that includes scarring trees that have been marked for eventual removal and, returning years later after trees have been cut, harvesting the grown bark as a decoratively scarred skin to use in her baskets.


David EllsworthStratum Sphere #7, 1999
Spalted sugar maple
Racine Art Museum, Gift of Jane and Arthur Mason
Photography: Jon Bolton, Racine, WI

An influential presence in the modern wood turning community, David Ellsworth has both channeled and challenged the idea of functional turned wood vessels. At one point, he began creating his own bent turning tools to achieve his specific, conceptual and aesthetic goals. In the last 10 years, RAM has acquired over 40 small and large-scale works by Ellsworth, created over a broad period of time during his career.


This exhibition is the latest in a series of collections-based exhibitions featuring artists whose work RAM holds in-depth. The museum is grateful to the donors of works to the permanent collection who have made these focus exhibitions possible. In particular, RAM thanks Jane and Arthur Mason, Ruth C. Greenberg, Lloyd Cotsen, and the Barnes family for their gifts of multiple examples of these artist's works.


Collection study guides focusing on each of the two artists will be available, free to RAM members and with paid RAM admission. Each guide will feature an essay on the significance of the artist's work along with color images of their pieces within RAM's permanent collection. The 20-page guides are also available for $5 plus shipping by calling the RAM Museum Store at 262.638.8200.


This exhibition is made possible by: Presenting Sponsors -Karen Johnson Boyd and William B. Boyd, RAM Society Members, Jay Price Ruffo, S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. and Windgate Charitable Foundation; Gold Sponsors - Helen Bader Foundation, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, Racine Community Foundation, Inc. and Racine United Arts Fund; Silver Sponsors -Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research, Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation, W.T. Walker Group, Inc. and Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors -Clifton Gunderson LLP, CNH America LLC, Educators Credit Union, Friends of Fiber Art International, In Sink Erator, Knight-Barry Title, Inc., Real Racine and Runzheimer Foundation


Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open to the public Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon - 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $5 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.

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For more information or to request images, please contact:

Laura Gillespie
RAM Marketing Assistant
262.638.8300 x 114