An Ongoing Dialogue in the Art World: Comparing Works of Art and Craft, With Works of Elizabeth Catlett and the Gee’s Bend Quilts

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Join us Thursday, April 24, 2014 for a presentation comparing Black American works of art and craft by Dale Fisher from the University of Iowa Museum of Art. The University of Iowa Museum of Art’s School Programs include a collection of Gee’s Bend Quilts, made by generations of African-American women who create harmonies of design and composition out of found materials. The works that were once an everyday thing, made for use in the home, have become acknowledged as works of art. Raising questions about whether these works are art or craft and the difference between the two categories, is an ongoing dialogue in the art world; whether the Gee’s Bend Quilts are art or craft, they reflect an integral story that is uniquely American. The context of the talk about the Gee’s Bend Quilts will include a comparison of the works of Elizabeth Catlett, using works from the University of Iowa Museum of Art Legacies for Iowa exhibition, I Am: Prints by Elizabeth Catlett.


Fisher received his Bachelor of Science in Art Education, with K-12 Life Teaching Certification, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. After teaching in the public schools for six years, Fisher attended Arizona State University as a candidate in the M.F.A. program. More significantly, during this time, he served as a coordinator/instructor for a collaborative program for “at risk” children, sponsored by Tempe Social Services and the Tempe, Kyrene and Mesa School Districts. After completing his Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Fisher served as Museum Educator at the University of Missouri-Columbia Museum of Art and Archaeology and served on the faculty of the School of Fine Arts. He currently is Curator of Education at the University of Iowa Museum of Art.

“I have been to the Maquoketa Art Experience several times over the last few years and have done many presentations on a variety of topics. I am always thankful for the kindness and generosity of the staff, and I look forward to my visits to MAE.”
Sponsored by UIMA Education Partners, Scheel’s, and US Bank