Museum As...

May 5, 2023–September 10, 2023

Two large vitrines framed in wood display two identical gentleman's jackets.
Gabriel Martinez, in collaboration with The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Dominion over Gentility, 1998. Embossed rayon velvet, screen printed silk charmeuse, cashmere, 14kt white gold leaf, chenille tassel, rayon embroidery, 53 x 24 x 4 inches (Negligee); Wood, Plexiglas, 83 x 40 x 20 inches (Case). Edition of 9. Photo credit: Carlos Avendaño.

Museum As is the third and final presentation in a trilogy of exhibitions designed to illuminate The Fabric Workshop and Museum’s (FWM) origins and name, which can be misleading or confusing. Each exhibition, organized around a singular element in our name and drawing from FWM’s extensive collection, welcomes visitors to discover the many facets of fabric, workshop, or museum. 
FWM has been dedicated to making, presenting, and collecting since its inception in 1977. Interestingly, the word “museum” was not officially added to our name until 1996, nearly twenty years later. 
With over 4,000 objects in our collection (including finished objects and process material), our collection has a unique energy, history, and purpose. Our institutional values are represented in the artists we work with, the projects we create, and the objects we dedicate the time and resources necessary to preserving, contextualizing, and sharing with future generations. 
FWM has a distinct approach to being a museum. Museum As… demonstrates our history of orchestrating situations for artistic collaboration and experimentation. Our institutional commitment to big dreaming alongside artists and our community has led to thrilling projects. See how our pursuit of unexpected ideas, materials, and processes has resulted in a museum unlike any other. 


The Fabric Workshop and Museum
First Floor

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This exhibition is included with free general admission

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Art in This Exhibition

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About the Curator

Museum As… is organized by DJ Hellerman, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs.


Major support of FWM is provided by the Marion Boulton “Kippy” Stroud Foundation. FWM receives state art funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Additional support is provided by Agnes Gund and the Board of Directors and Members of The Fabric Workshop and Museum.