Zorach embroidery lecture

Oct 13, 2017
“The Family Supper (Zorach Family)” is a 1922 wool embroidered on linen work by Marguerite Thompson Zorach currently on view at Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum.

Rockland — The Farnsworth Art Museum will present a lecture by Cynthia Fowler Friday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. The Marguerite Zorach and the Modern Embroidery Movement program will take place in the downtown museum’s auditorium.

In the first half of the 20th century, a group of female American artists dedicated themselves to embroidery as a form of artistic expression.  The work they made were consciously designed and executed to demonstrate their training as painters and, more specifically, their adherence to the principles of modern art.

In the early 1930s, modern artist Georgiana Brown Harbeson declared that the embroideries created by these women constituted a "modern embroidery movement" in America. In her publications, she identified Marguerite Zorach as one of the key contributors to this movement. This talk is an examination of the embroideries created by Zorach and the arguments put forth by Harbeson that Zorach’s embroideries should be evaluated with the same seriousness as any other art form.

The talk also will provide a close examination of individual embroideries by Zorach that demonstrate her vision as a modern artist who set the stage for the modern embroidery movement that Harbeson would later celebrate. Some of the artist’s embroideries are on view in “Marguerite Zorach — An Art-Filled Life,” on view to Jan. 7 in the Farnsworth’s Morehouse wing.

Fowler is a professor of art history at Emmanuel College in Boston. Her research on Zorach began as a graduate student at the University of Delaware, and her dissertation focused on Zorach's embroideries in relation to the American craft tradition. Since then, she has published a book, “Hooked Rugs:  Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design,” that includes an examination of Zorach's hooked rugs. Her forthcoming book, “The Modern Embroidery Movement:  Marguerite Zorach, Georgiana Brown Harbeson and Their Collaborators,” will be released by Bloomsbury Publishing in early 2018.

Fee for this program is $10, $8 for Farnsworth members. For more information or to register, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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