I had the opportunity to visit the conservation department at the Denver Art Museum last month. We looked at some large 16th century tapestries that are being stabilized for the upcoming tapestry exhibition and then, when the class had dispersed, textile conservator Allison McCloskey pulled out the James Koehler piece that is in their collection.
|James Koehler, Chief Blanket piece, in the collection of the Denver Art Museum|
|James Koehler, Chief Blanket detail|
If you'd like to see what I wrote in years past, here are the links.
2014 Three Years Passes in a Flash
2013 James Koehler, 2 years gone
2012 James and the cranes
You can now buy James Koehler's autobiography, Woven Color, on Amazon. It is a beautiful book and a well-told story of a journey lived in tapestry. http://amzn.to/1GKrNbT The book is self-published through Blurb Publications and you can also buy it directly from them.
James loved teaching. In his book he had this to say about that part of his career:
I want to continue to teach because the world of tapestry has enriched my life in so many ways. I want to pass on that gift to a new generation of weavers who are willing to learn from me. Tapestry weaving is an art form that does not get a lot of attention from the mainstream art world. I hope my work will help to change that…. [Tapestry] is an art form that enables people to enter into their own creative process where they can explore the medium and expand the possibilities that are inherent in it… I like to live my life from the vantage point of considering unexplored possibilities, and I am passionate about approaching my work in the same way. (Koehler 253)I also love teaching. I didn't learn this from James, but I do understand it. I have been teaching various things since I was a kid playing school with my little sister, but teaching tapestry is the best thing I have ever done. When I look back at the last four years of my studio career, I sometimes indulge myself a little bit and think, "James would be proud."
Koehler, James, & Carole Greene. Woven Color: The Tapestry Art of James Koehler. Blurb Publications, 2010.