Openings and Closings: October 6 to October 12

Elizabeth Lanza Art, Exhibitions

A Century of Progress by Richard H. Rowley, 1933. Mary S. and Edward J. Holmes Fund, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts

Many of our readers know that here at ANTIQUES we hold a special place in our hearts for quilts. As functional design, art form, and as vehicles for social and political commentary, quilts  trace the evolution of American thought and culture. This week, the MFA Boston welcomes an exhibition entitled Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories, which includes quilts dating from  the seventeenth-century to the present. Divided into seven thematic sections, Fabric of a Nation celebrates the artistic diversity of both the works and the artists. The exhibition features the only two surviving quilts by the brilliant Harriet Powers: her Pictorial quilt (c. 1895) and Bible quilt (c. 1885). These alone are worth a visit. Check here to plan your trip in advance.

Aerial view of the Armour-Stiner Octagon House on the Hudson River in Irvington, New York. Photograph courtesy of the Armour-Stiner Octagon House.

Armour-Stiner Octagon House, Irvington, New York

This fall the Armour-Stiner Octagon House, a gloriously quirky Second Empire gem, celebrates the Halloween season with their new Myths and Mysteries Tour. Why, you ask? Well, rumor has it that the Octagon House is haunted. The main set for the 1981 horror film The Nesting and home to the – friendly – ghost of a young French girl, the house is right in the heart of “Sleepy Hollow Country”. The tour will explore the mysteries of the house and delve into its architectural history. Haunted or not, the Octagon House is visually stunning, as you can see from our feature story, and we would all be remiss to let October slip past without a visit. Check here to reserve your tickets.

Modernique Clock by Paul T. Frankl (1887–1958), 1928; Warren Telechron Company, Ashland, Massachusetts. Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art, Denver, Colorado; photograph by Wes Magyar, courtesy of the Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee.

Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

The Frist, now celebrating its twentieth anniversary, welcomes the traveling exhibition American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918–1939 to its own art deco interior on October 8. A showcase of some 140 objects, the exhibition looks at the stateside iteration of the design movement. American Art Deco highlights works in decorative and fine arts, architecture, and industrial design. With artifacts from the glitzy, glamorous 1920s to the years of the Great Depression, this exhibition offers museum-goers an in-depth look at a whirlwind two decades in American history. Check here to plan your trip!

Selections from the exhibition Lost Realms of the Moundbuilders: Ancient Native Americans of the South and Midwest. Image courtesy of the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama.

Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama

Opening on October 9 at the Birmingham Museum of Art is the exhibition Lost Realms of the Moundbuilders: Ancient Native Americans of the South and Midwest. The exhibition showcases the archaeological, religious, ceremonial, social, and political histories of the Mississippian Moundbuilders. Settled in Alabama over one thousand years ago, the Moundbuilders were one of the most important Native American cultures to ever exist. But there is more to the story than anthropology and archaeology, as our editor at large Glenn Adamson noted when this exhibition debuted earlier this year at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. In the 1930s, treasure hunters destroyed many artifacts at a key Moundbuilder site simply out of spite when they were forced to abandon their excavation. It all adds up to a fascinating and at times sobering exhibition. Check here to plan your visit.