Monday, February 02, 2009

"Mrs. William Anthony Chickering" 34" x 71"
Fabric collage portrait 1977
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"Joseph's Coat" Stitchery, executed in 1963 size 20" x 54"
colors: reds, purples, oranges, beige on purple linen - hand dyed
All materials are hand dyed--some vegetable, some aniline dyes were used
stitchery and spplique

Honorable Mention- "Craftsmen of the Eastern States" Atlanta

and Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1963

in family collection, Portland , OR

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"The Belle" 1965 20" x 36"
Old velvetwrist and buttons, with stitchery on linen
Dark blue and yellow
Shown in invitational stitchery exhibition, The J.B. Speed Art Museum
"The Stitch in Time" 1966

sold to Jeffrey Callen
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The Merry Widow 24" x 40"
Fabric collage portrait, 1978 Alma Lesch
sold to Cathy Schuster
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Aunt Stella, 56" x 26" Fabric collage portrait 1976
sold to Nancy Martin and Fred Hendler
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"November" Alma Lesch stitchery, 1967
sold to Dr. William Schyuler
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"Madame Chairman" 27" x 50" fabric collage portrait 1977
Portrait of my neighbor Ivy Troll McBride (noted by the artist for documentation)

Miss Ivy, as everyone in Shepherdsville called her, was a beloved neighbor to the artist. Their properties touched at the fence line between two streets, just a block off Buckman Street, Shepherdsville's main artery, actually Preston Hwy which leads to Okalona to the north.

Known for her colorful poetry (in letters from Ms. Ivy to Alma to be posted soon) Miss Ivy offered the following verse to the local newspaper in the early 1970s, upon the publication of Alma Lesch's 151 Color Recipes for Dyeing Yarns and Fabrics with Natural Materials. (research begun from a 1961 Master of Education Thesis at U of L under Dr. J. J. Oppenheimer (1893-1983).
Alma Lesh wrote: The basis of this thesis was later published in book form as Vegetable Dyeing ...Publisher Watson & Guptill 1970 New York & David & Charles London 1974.

A Tribute to Alma Lesch
Here's to My Friend, Alma Lesch.
NOT she who "seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands"
NOT she, who thru ten years during the quiet hours of night writes a book, proving to others "how to do it" right
NOT she, who worthily gains acclaim at home and abroad, in Halls of Fame
NOT she, who in her small, frail frame labors for months, not to gain a name,
BUT she, who for the sheer love of Beauty and Thrift, gives completely of Self-thru high sense of duty,
But she, who despite her full schedule of labor, drops all, to give aid to a needy friend or neighbor!
But she, whose simplicity and humility knows not the meaning of quite
But thrusts it aside, with her quick, toerant smile, she stands like a rock, in time of distress
And parleys most kindly a thrust, when under duress!
She is the staunch epitome.
Of truth loyalty and integrity
It is THIS ALMA whom the World does NOT, but SHOULD know,
IT IS SHE to whomI pay this Tribute of Love and Admiration.
And add to her other acclaims, MY humble appreciation!
By a Greatful "Fellow Shepherdsvillian", Ivy T. McBride

News of the Day: Thursday, January 28, 1971 The Pioneer News of Shepherdsville, Ky front page news items included:
Third Term County Judge Arson Moore Appointed Chairman for Combs-Carroll in May election
Drug Education Committee Meets at Bullitt Central High School (to prevent future problems caused by abuse)
Colonial House Official Opening (personal care home on Hwy 44 E)
Alma Lesch Book has Recipes for Vegetable-dyed Textiles (as appeared in Courier-Journal, art review)
Retired Persons to Organize AARP Chapter ($2 annual membership at Davidson Memorial Methodist Church)
Stray Bullet Narrowly Misses Sleeping Couple (news from Brooks, KY...The County Sheriff's Office was called to investigate this incident, but they have not yet been able to come up with anything)
Carol Cruise Appointed to County Red Cross Office
News From our State Capitol: Gov. Louie Nunn role in restoring the state budget cut on spending, "I don't intend to be a lame duck."
Local Fire Dept. Has Opening for new Members: requires 4 hour a month and No test required Ages 21-50
Back to School for Board Members: 250 school board members return from Louisville included Dr M. J. Cundiff of Shepherdsville, chairman of KSBA's Fourth Region.
Three Escaped From Bullitt Jail: Jailer Billy Shepherd says escape by sawing a bar out of a second-floor door, no blade was discovered during the 7 a.m. discovery. State Police and Jefferson County are looking for the men.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

this old house, once owned by Alma Lesch, directly across the street from her studio home, was demolished over twenty years ago the artist reconsidered the costs for its restoration...the scallop woodwork on the early 20th century "American Gothic" was an inspiration for the textile motif used in her major corporate commission "Lay of the Land: Kentucky" 1983. Of course Alma's "Southern Gothic" fabric portraits are her trademark works.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Alma Wallace Lesch database

Alma Wallace Lesch database

"Sallie" fabric portrait
private collection
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Alma Wallace Lesch 1917-1999
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detail of large tapestry commission from 1983 now in Owensboro, Kentucky
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detail of scallop pattern inspired by the old twentieth century wooden trimmed house owned by the artist in Shepherdsville which could be seen from her home and studio directly across the street, a home she lived and worked in for fifty years
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Commission for the Meidinger Tower Fourth Ave and Walnut Sts, Louisville
12' x 14' weight 94 pounds
August 1983

In the spring of '93 the owners of the Meidinger Tower gave this piece to the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, KY

perhaps the largest commissioned tapestry executed by Alma Wallace Lesch during a prolific period in the early 1980s

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close up of lush fabrics used in "Lay of the Land: Kentucky" 1983
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Alma Wallace Lesch database

Alma Wallace Lesch database

"Lay of the Land: Kentucky" 1983 Alma Lesch tapestry
commissioned by Meidinger Tower, in collection of Owensboro Art Museum
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proposal sketch with tapestry in progress winter of 1983
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detail of tapestry with safety pins before finishing work
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called "Lay of the Land: Kentucky" this 1983 in-process photo details part of the large commission delivered to Meidinger Tower, Louisville
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tapestry is now in the collection of the Owensboro Museum of Art, Kentucky
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Sunday, August 24, 2008


creative use of knitting, and color in "shawl"
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the latest view of the bluegrass state
annual textile award at the Kentucky State Fair 2008
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008