Dorothy Liebes (American, 1897–1972)
Wood, chenille, various fibers, Lurex (aluminum foil, plastic-coated)
L. 13 in. (33 cm), W. 84 in. (213.4 cm)
Gift of Dorothy Liebes Design Inc., 1973 (1973.129.7)
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.