COLLECTIONS > Exhibits > Motif: Museum as Studio

Motif: Museum as Studio
The works of Julia Einstein

May through September 21, 2024
"Motif: Museum as Studio" is an immersive art exhibition featuring the work of Julia Einstein, who transforms the Stanley-Whitman House into her creative studio. This exhibit explores the rich interplay between art and history, highlighting the beauty and complexity of botanical motifs inspired by the museum's historic gardens.

The exhibit has been featured in the calendar section of Art New England Magazine!

About the Exhibition

This exhibition is inspired by the living collection of Stanley-Whitman House’s historic gardens and the keeping of an herbarium. The museum serves as inspiration for the artist’s sketchbooks, the making of new contemporary herbariums, carved print blocks, prints, and both small and large-scale paintings. Throughout the creative process, floral design motifs are transformed, creating an interactive experience with the historic National Landmark house and gardens. Einstein’s art draws upon historic designs and botanical themes as evidenced through the motifs running throughout the museum's permanent collection, archives, library, and living collection of plants. Additionally, Einstein is inspired by the garden themed writings of 19th-century New England women writers and poets. History comes alive in Einstein’s studio practice, where the museum’s gardens set the scene for her sketches, still lifes, floral portraits, and flower motifs painted in highly saturated color stories.

Andres Verzosa, Executive Director and Curator of Stanley-Whitman House, invited artist Julia Einstein to the museum for her first visit in 2019, just prior to the COVID pandemic. He then welcomed her back for several more visits to immerse herself in and study the historic house and gardens. This invitation included the opportunity to showcase her works, resulting in the current exhibition displayed throughout the historic house museum, gardens, and history center.

Discover the beautiful interplay of art and history as Julia Einstein explores the motifs of florals and patterns inspired by colonial needlework and nineteenth-century botanicals. Don't miss this unique opportunity to experience history through art! 

Exhibition Highlights

Botanical Inspirations: The exhibition celebrates botanicals from the Stanley-Whitman House's living collection of plants from its historic gardens. These plants are the foundation for Einstein's art, inspiring her sketchbooks, contemporary herbariums, prints, carved print blocks, and small and large-scale paintings.

Floral Design Motifs:
Throughout the creative process, motifs were discovered and transformed, creating an interactive experience intended to connect visitors with our ca. 1720 National Historic Landmark house and its gardens.

Historical and Cultural Connections:
Einstein's art draws upon historic designs, themes, and botanicals in the museum's rich permanent collection, archives, library, and living collection of plants. Her work is also inspired by the writings of 19th-century New England women writers and poets who explored garden themes.

Vivid and Engaging Artworks:
The exhibit features highly saturated color palettes in Einstein's paintings–– still lifes, floral portraits, and flower icons. These works reflect Einstein’s response to the vibrant and dynamic nature of the museum's gardens.

Interactive Elements:
The exhibition includes Einstein's sketchbooks, contemporary herbariums, prints, and small and large paintings that invite museum visitors to engage with the artistic process and the historical context of the museum.

About the Artist

JULIA EINSTEIN is a teaching artist and Artist in Residence at Raleigh City Farm, represented by Portland Art Gallery in Portland, Maine. Her museum interpretation career and studio practice in the Warehouse Arts District of Raleigh, North Carolina, have profoundly influenced her work. Einstein's connection with Stanley-Whitman House began in 2019, just before the pandemic. She has since returned multiple times to study and immerse herself in the museum's historic house and gardens, culminating in this unique exhibition.

MEET THE ARTIST on CT's Historic Gardens Day, June 23, 2024!