Art, as an act of gift-giving, is central to history and the ongoing stories of creative making in communities around the globe. Making something and offering it freely to another is a profound act of generosity and even sacrifice. Gifts come in many forms: a tiny clay dish crafted by a child made for a parent treasured as a marker of love and time for decades after; a gift created for a ceremony, celebration, or transition.

To emphasize the significance of the gift of art the Coe, alongside our incredible artist friends, Board Directors, and volunteers created a small act of “gifting”. called Postcards from the Coe. Starting in April 2020 through the end of July 2020, we created postcards that might have been inspired by a work or works from the Coe collection or from the heart of the artist, and that was mailed to a random recipient from the Coe mailing list.

We hope that these small gifts of art provided light and hope in our precarious moment and served as lasting reminders of the resilience of art. Sharing art now is one of the most powerful tools that we have. And receiving mail creates connection and meaning. We can even add supporting the Postal Service to the list, while we’re at it!

The above postcard was created by the artist Vicente Telles—inspired by one of the vases in the Coe Collection.

 

This postcard was made by a Coe Board Director—it looks like she may have been inspired by the Navigation Chart in the Coe Collection. This chart dates to c. 1980 and is from the Marshall Islands.

 

Here is a sampling of other postcards that were sent out.

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