Leonore Tawney

Lenore Tawney was an American artist who became an influential figure in the development of fiber art.

Born as Leonora Agnes Gallagher in Lorain, Ohio, Tawney’s introduction to the tenets of the German Bauhaus school and the artistic avant-garde began in 1946 when she attended Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Chicago Institute of Design. She studied with Moholy-Nagy, cubist sculptor Alexander Archipenko and abstract expressionist painter Emerson Woelffer, among others, and in 1949, she studied weaving with Marli Ehrman.

In 1957, she moved to New York City, where she became associated with a generation of artists including Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Indiana, Agnes Martin and Jack Youngerman. Since then, Tawney lived and worked mainly in New York City, where she died, aged 100.

Widely known in the New York art world and beyond, she was the veteran of more than two dozen solo exhibitions in leading galleries and museums and she participated in dozens of important group exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art as well as many other museums, universities and private art collections.

Lenore Tawney’s work has been exhibited at the Renwick Gallery, The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago; the American Craft Museum, New York City; the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, all of which have her works in their permanent collections. “Lenore Tawney, A Retrospective, American Craft Museum” was published in 1990 by Rizzoli. Lenore Tawney: Signs on the Wind, Postcard Collages” was published by Pomegranate in 2002.