News / Arts & Entertainment

Museum Hits Milestone With '40 Under 40'

"China Tree" made of Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots by artist Joey Foster Ellis. ( VOA/C.Premoshis)
"China Tree" made of Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots by artist Joey Foster Ellis. ( VOA/C.Premoshis)
The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C. is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a display by 40 artists under the age of 40.

The show includes works in many media, from glass and ceramics to non-traditional materials such as yarn and light bulbs.

Matt Moulthrop, a third generation artist, works with wood.

"Wood is a material that has a very natural element to it, and it's a revelation process because there's beauty hidden within that," he said.
Museum Hits Milestone With '40 Under 40'i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
August 02, 2012 4:07 PM
A Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. is celebrating its 40th anniversary with pieces by 40 artists under the age of 40. The show includes works in many media, from glass and ceramics to non-traditional materials such as yarn and light bulbs. VOA’s Julie Taboh spoke with one of the featured artists and has this report.

His father, Philip Moulthrop, is a famous woodturner, meaning he turns wood on a lathe. His grandfather Edward is also famous.  

Matt's intense immersion in that environment inspired him to follow in their footsteps.

“This was something that I never thought I could make a living at it, and they encouraged me to try and I took a leap and I’ve been very fortunate,” Moulthrop said. "Hopefully, I'm measuring and building up to a lot of what was taught to me."

Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
x
Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
Artist Matt Moulthrop in his Georgia studio. (Photo by Laura Noel)
Clearly he has, given that one of Moulthrop's pieces, a vessel made of red maple, which is abundant in his home state of Georgia, is now in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery show.

"The object of the piece was to turn the ordinary into something that is extraordinary," he said.

Nicholas Bell, who curated the exhibit to celebrate the Renwick's 40th anniversary, wanted to look to the future instead of the past.

“The number one criteria, besides age, was that things be good," he said. "You look for those things that pop out at you, that really grab you, and that give you a gut reaction.”

Moulthrop's piece was one of them. He's following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who've also shown at the Renwick.

“When I was looking at what was happening in wood art, I first went to Matt Moulthrop, because he is just as good as his father and his grandfather," Bell said. "But he’s doing things a little bit differently. He’s approaching the wood in a little bit of a different way, he’s finishing it differently, and his work is distinct from that of his father and grandfather.”

In addition to Moulthrop's piece, Bell chose other pieces which are diverse, thought-provoking and give the exhibit an intimate and interactive feel.

“We have everything from...an 18-foot-tall [5.4 meters] paper installation, to a tree made from Chinese porcelain soy sauce pots, to an entire shack made out of barn wood, to a room that you can go in and be enlightened literally by a wonderful light installation," Bell said. "We tried to do everything here.”

There's also a room where furniture and real, moving human figures are covered in crocheted acrylic yarn.

“What I want people to take away from this, is that craft is an incredibly broad field with a lot of energy," Bell said, "and that all sorts of different things are happening. It’s not just going to the museum and seeing something on a pedestal.”

Malthrop feels honored to be included in the display.

“I’m very excited about this induction and being part of this group and this exhibit,” he said.

He hopes his children will follow in his footsteps to become the fourth generation of Moulthrop woodturners.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

"Soul Lounge" host Shawna Renee catches up with soul singer and songwriter Russell Taylor to hear what he’s been up to since winning the VH1 "You Oughta Know" title in 2013. She also convinces him to share a few songs from his album "War of Hearts."