Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Room divider

Designer:
Dorothy Liebes (American, Santa Rosa, California 1897–1972 New York)
Date:
ca. 1952
Medium:
Wood, chenille, various fibers, Lurex (aluminum foil, plastic-coated)
Dimensions:
84 × 13 in. (213.4 × 33 cm)
Classification:
Textiles-Woven
Credit Line:
Gift of Dorothy Liebes Design Inc., 1973
Accession Number:
1973.129.7
Not on view
Dorothy Liebes taught herself to weave on a small handloom while in college, and shortly thereafter set about transforming her craft for the modern era. She opened her first studio in San Francisco in 1930, where she provided custom-designed, hand-woven textiles to architects and decorators. She moved to New York in 1948, where she worked for the duration of her career. Liebes excelled in creating richly textured and often boldly colored textiles, often employing unorthodox materials, including feathers, metal objects, plastic, and bamboo. She worked for a number of architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Edward Durell Stone, and Samuel Marx, all of whom commissioned her to create textiles integral to their environments. This screen, made for the United Nations Delegates Dining Room, is an example of Liebes' architectural fabrics, deployed structurally to delineate spaces within a room.
Dorothy Liebes Design, Inc., New York (until 1973; their gift to MMA)

New York. Museum of Contemporary Crafts. "Dorothy Liebes Retrospective Exhibition," March 20–May 10, 1970, not in catalogue (checklist no. 34; as "Blinds used as divider wall," 1950, commissioned for U.N. Delegates' Dining Room).

New York. Museum of Arts and Design. "Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today," April 28–September 30, 2015, no catalogue.

"Inside the UN." House & Garden 102 (August 1952), p. 59, ill. (color detail).

Lili Blumenau. "Textiles in the United Nations Buildings." Handweaver & Craftsman 4 (Winter 1952–53), pp. 10–11, ill. (installation photo, dining room, United Nations).

Alexa Griffith Winton. "A Striking Juxtapostion: Hand-Woven Textiles in the United Nations Conference Building Interiors." Journal of Modern Craft 8 (July 2015), pp. 181, 183, 187–91, figs. 6, 7 (the screens in the United Nations Delegates Dining Room, 1952).



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