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Object ID #18452247

This is a Hanging. It was designed by Lenore Tawney and woven by Lenore Tawney. It is dated 1962 and we acquired it in 1964. Its medium is linen, feathers and its technique is plain weave with discontinuous wefts (tapestry). It is a part of the Textiles department.

In a 1971 article, Lenore Tawney's studio was described as a "gymnasium sized" space filled with "clumps of projects in progress - feathers, egg shells, and delicate animal bones ready for inclusion” in the artist’s weavings and assemblages. One can easily imagine Mourning Dove coalescing from these materials. Tawney is a revered figure in American fiber art, recognized for her ability to translate and combine diverse techniques and materials in her abstract woven constructions. She was one of the first American fiber artists to revive ancient Peruvian gauze weave, and even modified her weaving equipment to manipulate warp threads in gauze-like patterns. In this piece, she employed another ancient technique, slit tapestry, to separate the warp threads into the thin bands that fan into the bottom fringe. Tawney found inspiration both within and without, in complex woven structures and in the natural objects in her midst.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Feathers and Linen: Lenore Tawney’s Woven Assemblage.

This object was donated by Lenore Tawney. It is credited Gift of Lenore Tawney.

  • Hanging, Vitae
  • linen, wool, silk.
  • Gift of Elizabeth Gordon.
  • 1964-24-65
  • Hanging (USA)
  • silk, synthetic metallic yarns.
  • Gift of Mr. Eric and Mrs. Sylvia Elsesser, The Trude Guermonprez Archives.
  • 1993-121-25

Its dimensions are

H x W: 137 x 42 cm (53 15/16 x 16 9/16 in.)

Cite this object as

Object ID #18452247; Designed by Lenore Tawney ((American, 1907–2007)); USA; linen, feathers; H x W: 137 x 42 cm (53 15/16 x 16 9/16 in.); Gift of Lenore Tawney; 1964-66-3

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Cooper-Hewitt Collections: A Design Resource.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Object ID #18452247 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>