March 26, 6pm, exhibit curator Susan Curtis will give a gallery talk for a newly installed exhibit called “The Needle’s Art: Embroidered Treasures of the Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection,” which will be exhibited at the Hjemkomst Center through June 23. This exhibition of a curated selection from the ERHCC will explore the needlework of women, looking at how they used their embroidery and quilts to conform to the social constructs of femininity while also using these works to express their individuality and creativity and to make political/social statements. The exhibit will mainly contain embroidered clothing, embroidered samplers/pictures, and quilts.
The Emily Reynolds Historic Costume Collection is a repository of material culture focusing on clothing, textiles, and related items. The collection works to reveal how such objects serve as a record of life through collection, preservation, and study. Housed at North Dakota State University, across the river from Moorhead in Fargo, ND, the collection of over 5000 fiber artifacts has broadened its mission to preserve the cultural heritage of the state and region through textiles, clothing, and related items.
ERHCC curator Susan Curtis has selected the fine handiwork of women, so often taken for granted over the last century and now recontextualized and celebrated as fiber art. Curtis is interested in the intersection of “women’s work,” creative endeavor, and rebellion, and her selection for this exhibit reflects that interest. Through fine embroidery, women have, for at least 2000 years, embellished fabric with thread both as a status symbol and personal expression; at the same time, it has flourished as a folk art in a number of cultures worldwide noted for distinct cultural styles such as Hardanger in Norway and Nakshi Kantha in Bangladesh. In America, it was, for a long time, evidence of the marriageability of a young woman, who was often judged on her needlework.
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from Lake Region Arts Council, thanks to a Minnesota State Legislative appropriation; The Arts Partnership with the Cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo; the Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation, and the Alex Stern Family Foundation.
Contact our Communications team for story ideas, events and other arts-related happenings.
Tania Blanich is the Arts Partnership’s Director of Operations