<iframe src="//www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PWMWG4" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden">
Art Diary

Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women

24 May 2024

The associations of fibre art with domesticity and menial labour, and its frequent labelling as a ‘woman’s craft’, has often seen it overlooked as a serious art form – even Anni Albers, one of the leading textile artists of 20th century, felt that weaving was ‘rather sissy’ when she was first introduced to the medium. In recent years, however, these attitudes have changed, with many art institutions hosting shows that seek to uplift fibre art’s standing within art history. The latest to do so is the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., which is presenting an exhibition on 27 women artists of the 20th century who have approached fibre-based practices such as knitting, quilting and weaving in experimental or subversive ways (31 May–5 January 2025). Find out more from the Smithsonian’s website.

Preview below | View Apollo’s Art Diary

Unveiling of the Statue of Liberty (1964), Katherine Westphal, copy after Edward Moran. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

Coil Series III – A Celebration (1978), Claire Zeisler. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.

From a Birmingham Jail: MLK (1996), L’Merchie Frazier. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. © the artist