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Recent Acquisitions: Fiber Art at Mia
December 7, 2019 - October 18, 2020
Showcased here is a selection of fiber artworks acquired over the past five years by Mia’s Department of Decorative Arts, Textiles, and Sculpture. The term “fiber art” came into being in the years following World War II (1939–45) to describe the work of artists who employed various methods of textile production traditionally recognized as “craft” or “women’s work”: weaving, knitting, crochet, and other techniques. Accordingly, a wide range of techniques and materials are here in this display.
Maria Laszkiewicz fuses traditional Gobelin tapestry weave with three-dimensional sculpture. Norma Minkowitz creates with crochet hooks, while Linda Mendelson works on the knitting loom. Loretta Pettway’s pieced quilt made in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, speaks to Tim Harding’s use of reverse appliqué. Works by well-known artists Helena Hernmarck, Olga de Amaral, Ethel Stein, Mary Giles, and others are also included.
By claiming these media and methods for the category of “fine art,” fiber artists ask us where we draw the line between “art” and “craft” and whether such a line should exist at all.