The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM) is pleased to present By the Work of Her Hands, an exhibition of embroidered and quilted textiles created through a museum partnership with Tangier American Legation Museum. The partnership is part of the Museums Connect program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of State. Administered by the American Alliance of Museums, Museums Connect pairs museums in the U.S. with museums abroad for a cross-cultural exchange that brings people, especially youth, together through community projects that address important topics, such as women's empowerment and environmental protection, among others.
The Fabric Workshop and Museum has a long history of collaborating with contemporary artists on projects that utilize new materials and media, including quilting; two examples—Tar Beach 2 by Faith Ringgold and Takin’ a Chance on Luv by Betye Saar—have been selected to compliment the textile work on view in By the Work of Her Hands.
Through this international collaboration, two groups of traditional makers—the Quilters of Color Network of New York and the Au Grain de Sésame embroidery artists from Rabat, Morocco—created new work that showcases stories of unique cultural exchange, and also conceived of a series of public textile-making workshops. Students from New York University and l’Institut Spécialisé du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel worked with photographer Lonnie Graham to document the work of both groups in order to sustain and preserve traditional textile-making applications.
The following institutions collaborated on By the Work of Her Hands:
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), Philadelphia; New York University (NYU), New York; the Quilters of Color Network of New York; Au Grain de Sésame, Rabat, Morocco; l’Institut Spécialisé du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel (ISCA), Rabat, Morocco; and Tangier American Legation Museum (TALIM), Tangier, Morocco.
Special thanks to U.S. Project Coordinator Jacqueline Bishop and Moroccan Project Coordinator Asmaa Benachir for coordinating this cultural exchange, the students from NYU and ISCA, the Quilters of Color Network of New York participants, Au Grain de Sésame embroidery artists, and the partnering museum staff of TALIM and FWM.