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Italian Story
Sculpture

1978
8 x 5 x 4.5 in. (20.32 x 12.7 x 11.43 cm)

Betsy Packard Primary

Object Type: Sculpture
Medium and Support: textile scraps from Italian rags, acrylic gel medium
Credit Line: Gift of the artist
Accession Number: 2020.1.2

Web Notes
Washington DC–based Betsy Packard earned an MFA in painting from Tulane University on a full fellowship in 1978. While at Tulane she spent a year in Italy where ideas of history, re-use, conservation, and record-keeping began to shape her work. ‘Often, in more than 4 decades of art making,” Packard says of her work “I have returned to subjects of history and journaling through the re-use and transformation of everyday, easily available physical material.”

In Italian Story, Packard reconstructed old rags that she bought while living in Italy. Her experience there in the 1970’s exposed her to a culture of remembering. Italians, she explains, have a “reverence for history and preservation.” Re-using materials thus is a reference to the preservation of memory. By shaping these rags into the form of a book, Packard further emphasizes histories and storytelling. This work can be interpreted as the story of her Italian travels.

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