The Phoenix Heart

August, 2019

The Phoenix Heart

Miriam Schapiro and Marilyn Price

Gift of Altria, 2019.032.0003

Miriam Schapiro co-founded of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Feminist Art Program with Judy Chicago. Both artists explored issues of women's history, with Schapiro co-founding the Pattern and Decoration movement and Chicago creating one of the most famous pieces of feminist art, The Dinner Party, both of which drew inspiration from women's traditional handwork. 

Much of Schapiro's art referenced needlework techniques such as patchwork, quilting and embroidery, as seen in this piece, The Phoenix Heart. This quilt was part of the seminal exhibition The Artist and the Quilt

The Artist and the Quilt was a project developed in 1975 as a way of celebrating United Nations International Women’s Year. With artist Charlotte Robinson serving as coordinator, the proposed traveling exhibition was a collaboration between well-known artists and quiltmakers that included 20 quilts as well as original artwork designed for each piece. After receiving a 1977 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the project continued as planned. The completed exhibition included 20 quilts, 18 paintings and a process wall, which demonstrated the production of six quilts. 

Artists included in the exhibition were: Alice Baber*, Lynda Benglis*, Isabel Bishop, Elaine Lustig Cohen*, Harmony Hammond*, Mary Beth Edelson*, Dorothy Gillespie*, Marcia King*, Joyce Kozloff*, Marilyn Lanfear*, Ellen Lanyon*, Alice Neel*, Betty Parsons*, Faith Ringgold, Charlotte Robinson*, Miriam Schapiro*, Betye Saar* and Rosemary Wright*. 

Quilters in the exhibition were: Amy Chamberlin*, Bob Douglas*, Chris Wolf Edmonds, Theresa Helms*, Marie Ingalls*, Angela Jacobi*, Chloe Gurkin, Sharon McKain*, Edith Mitchell*, the Mitchell Family, Patricia Newkirk*, Judy Mathieson*, Bonnie Persinger*, Willi Posey, Marilyn Price*, Nancy Vogel* and Wenda F. Von Weise*.

The International Quilt Museum acquired this and 16 other quilts from the exhibition in Spring 2019. Collections like this strengthen the IQM's growing collection of art quilts. The Artist and the Quilt occurred in the early decades of the Art Quilt Movement, which gives it significant historical value in addition to its artistry.

* Notes artist/quiltmaker represented in The Artist and the Quilt Collection at the IQM.