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Tapestries Made After Paintings: From the Dovecot to Ganado, from Brennan to Begay


In the right hands, a tapestry made from a painting becomes a new and different work of art. In each of the tapestry projects that éditeur Gloria Ross orchestrated, the interactions of the weavers and artists whom she included varied, and so did the woven results. Between 1970 and 1980, she and the team of weavers trained by Archie Brennan at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh created forty-eight tapestries from designs by eight famous painters and sculptors (Jean Dubuffet, Helen Frankenthaler, Robert Goodnough, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Jack Youngerman). From 1979 to 1997, she brought purpose-made designs by one painter (Kenneth Noland) to six individual Native American weavers (Mary Lee Begay, Irene Clark, Sadie Curtis, Rose Owens, Ramona Sakiestewa, Martha Terry) who produced twenty-five unique tapestries. (Gloria Ross also worked in France and other parts of the world.) In this richly illustrated talk, Ann Hedlund will compare the two enterprises—one in Scotland and one in the American Southwest—to open discussion about what can happen when a tapestry comes from a painted or collaged image.

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