Lenore Tawney Collection
Lenore Tawney was a celebrated fiber artist. She was born in Lorain, Ohio but left to pursue higher education. Her art career began at the Moholy-Nagy’s Chicago Institute of Design where she focused on sculpture. Just less than a decade later, she switched from sculpting to weaving. While her beautifully simplistic studio was in New York City, her reach extended to many solo and group exhibitions throughout the world. Her work is part of the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery, Cleveland Museum of Art, Art Institute of Chicago, The American Craft Museum, and the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam, NE. She created larger than life size, well crafted fiber art pieces, many of which seem to float within a room. Her work reflected the abstract expressionist movement, along with contemporaries such as Ellsworth Kelly and Robert Indiana. The weaving techniques that she created gave the artworld a new found respect for the craft.
She had a personal revelation in 1976 when she left weaving and began making assemblages. She had an enormous collection of egg shells, shells, animal bones, books, feathers, wooden forms, stones, and small objects that she would combine together in small-scale collages often times on postcards. The works were much more quaint and intimate than her previous large scale fiber pieces.
Kohler Foundation began working with the Tawney Foundation shortly after her death, and, in 2018 KFI acquired her entire studio space, it was here that Tawney immersed herself in her theories and ideas and this was evident in her home studio. The collection included including artwork, collages, assemblages, furniture and supplies. KFI respectfully organized, cataloged, photographed and conserved the collection. The 468 piece collection was gifted to the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in 2018.