Gloria F. Ross & Modern Tapestry now available

GFR Book Cover

Gloria F. Ross & Modern Tapestry

Ann Lane Hedlund, with a foreword by Grace Glueck

Yale University Press, in association with Arizona State Museum

Published November 2010

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This beautiful book illuminates the ambitious career of Gloria F. Ross, a renowned editeur of tapestries who collaborated with many leading modern artists and weaving studios during the late twentieth century.

Gloria F. Ross (1923-1998) described her work as the translation of paint into wool. She was deeply committed to reinventing the centuries-old art of tapestry, particularly championing the handmade in contemporary art. This remarkable book, written by textile scholar Ann Lane Hedlund, draws from rare unpublished archives to unravel the evolution of Ross’s modern tapestries and to illuminate the significance of her creative partnerships.

Gloria F. Ross and Modern Tapestry features the collaborative work of twenty-eight acclaimed modernist painters and sculptors. Artists who designed Gloria F. Ross Tapestries include Milton Avery, Romare Bearden, Stuart Davis, Helen Frankenthaler (Ross’s sister), Robert Goodnough, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Paul Jenkins, Robert Motherwell, Louise Nevelson, Kenneth Noland, Larry Poons, Frank Stella, Ernest Trova, Jack Youngerman, among others.  Tapestry weavers include Archie Brennan and members of the Dovecot Studios (Edinburgh, Scotland), the Pinton Manufacture (Aubusson, France), and six Native American weavers from the American Southwest—Mary Lee Begay, Irene Clark, Sadie Curtis, Rose Owens, Ramona Sakiestewa, and Martha Terry (Arizona and New Mexico).

The book was based on research on unpublished letters, contracts, sketches, invoices, photographs and other materials on loan to the GFR Tapestry Program from the Gloria F. Ross estate and bequeathed to the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art in Washington, DC. This fascinating array–thirty-five linear feet of documentary materials–provided unparalleled resources for understanding the collaborative tapestry-making process. They illustrate the practical and aesthetic challenges that occupied Gloria Ross for over three decades.

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Ann Lane Hedlund is curator of ethnology at the Arizona State Museum and professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She directs the University’s Gloria F. Ross Tapestry Program. Before “retiring,” Grace Glueck was an art reporter, editor, and critic in The New York Times Cultural News Department for more than three decades.

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