Miriam Schapiro (American, born in Canada, 1923-2015),
Vestiture: Paris Series #2
acrylic and fabric on canvas, 60 x 50 1/4 in.; 152.4 x 127.635 cm
Gift of Barbara Gladstone, 1984.53
Labeling her work "femmage," Schapiro incorporates pieces of fabric, lace, quilting, and other handcrafted items into her paintings to call attention to their traditional associations with women. This delicate piece, composed of ornate textiles and acrylic paint, belongs to Schapiro’s Vestiture series, which reflects on gender inequities in the history of costume design. As an example of this imbalance, the artist has pointed to two icons of early French modernism – Henri Matisse and Sonia Delauney. While Matisse has historically received generous praise for his chasuble, or church vestment, designs, Delauney’s inspired costumery is relatively unknown.