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Beginning this summer, Racine Art Museum (RAM) is dedicating all of RAM’s galleries to artwork given by collector Karen Johnson Boyd (1924-2016) to honor her lifelong commitment to supporting the arts. Open May 27 – December 30, 2018, Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Collecting In-Depth at Home and at RAM is the first of a series of four individually titled exhibitions to open that highlight her interests and accomplishments.

Mrs. Boyd was an advocate for and a collector of art, especially contemporary American craft and works on paper. She was passionate about sharing her affinity with others and presented RAM with almost 1,700 pieces over several decades, the largest number of works given by a single donor.

Her establishment of Perimeter Gallery in Chicago in 1982, with its emphasis on a broad range of artists, and her consistent patronage of visual art in other ways made Mrs. Boyd a distinguished—albeit quiet—major collector. The works gathered here, including multiple examples by individual artists, reflect her desire to collect in-depth across disciplines and support artists’ development over a period of time while documenting their careers.

In fact, Mrs. Boyd’s philosophies towards collecting—revolutionary for the time—are reflected in the words she used to describe the artists represented at Perimeter:
“My idea was not to have it all craft, but to have it a mixture of art that I thought was good—the craftsman, the painter, the sculptor, the photographer––everybody together… Everybody was supposed to be segregated, and I didn’t think that was fair. If they were all artists—as long as they’re good enough––they deserved to be together, indiscriminately.”

Organized by the categories of fiber art, work from Japan, work from Perimeter Gallery artists, and functional ceramics—all specialty areas of interest for Mrs. Boyd—this exhibition also contains work that is at RAM because of her influence and legacy.

Honoring Karen Johnson Boyd: Collecting In-Depth at Home and at RAM is made possible by: Platinum Sponsor – Friends of Fiber Art International and Windgate Charitable Foundation; Diamond Sponsor – Osborne and Scekic Family Foundation; Gold Sponsors – Herzfeld Foundation, Johnson Bank, W.T. Walker Group, Inc.; Silver Sponsors – Andis Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, Racine County, Real Racine, Runzheimer International Ltd., Twin Disc, Wisconsin Arts Board; Bronze Sponsors – Burlington Graphic Systems, Inc., CNH Industrial, EC Styberg Foundation, Educators Credit Union, Knight Barry Title, Inc., The Norbell Foundation, Orkney Springs Retreat, United Way of Racine County, Walmart; Media Sponsor – 88NINE Radio Milwaukee

Submitted by: Racine Art Museum

Together, the two campuses of the Racine Art Museum, RAM in downtown Racine at 441 Main Street and the Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts at 2519 Northwestern Avenue, seek to elevate the stature of contemporary crafts to that of fine art by exhibiting significant works in craft media with painting, sculpture, and photography, while providing outstanding educational art programming.

Docent-led contemporary craft and architectural tours of the museums are available. Both campuses of the Racine Art Museum, are open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, and are closed Mondays, Federal holidays and Easter. RAM is open Sunday Noon – 5:00 pm, while Wustum is closed Sundays. An admission fee of $7 for adults, with reduced fees for students and seniors, applies at RAM. Admission to Wustum is free. Members are always admitted without charge to either campus.