The National Museum of the Guild of American Papercutters continues to build a permanent collection of work donated by our members. Established in 2009 in cooperation with Laurel Arts, the museum is located at the Phillip Dressler Center for the Arts, in Somerset, Pennsylvania. Housing over 200 carefully chosen and curated paper artworks, it is the first American museum devoted to the art of papercutting.
Museum Receives Celebrated “Mouse Wedding” Gift from Chinese Papercutting Association
2019 was the tenth anniversary of the founding of the national museum! In celebration, a special exhibit of works from the GAP permanent collection was on display in the downstairs galleries at the GAP Museum from mid-May to June 14, 2019. Small devotionals, created in monasteries and convents during the mid-18th century were among the antique and contemporary treasures on view.
Most excitingly, visitors in 2019 had a chance to see the ceremonial 20-foot long red “Mouse Wedding” papercutting, a gift to GAP on its Museum opening, from the Chinese Papercutting Association. The Mouse Wedding was given as an inaugural gift to GAP’s Museum in 2009 by Professor Chun Jeng. While visiting, Professor Chun participated in the GAP Collection at Landis Valley Farm Museum, Lancaster Co., PA. In China, it was and is a folk custom to usher in the new (lunar) year by creating multiple papercuttings, from lucky, happy red paper, of paired mice, along with often whimsical representations of the “wedding party” and gatherer mice, and using them as house decorations. Additional amusing examples below are from a collection of wedding mice cut in modern times in Shandong Province; description of the custom and of these pieces can be found in Lorna Owen’s lovely book, Mouse Muse: The Mouse in Art (NY: Monacelli Press 2014).