Study Fiber Art in NMWA’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center

Has a recent viewing of High Fiber inspired you to learn more about fiber art? If so, visit the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center and check out resources on fiber art and fiber artists, including those listed below.


  • Mildred Constantine and Elissa Auther. “Fibre art.” Grove Art Online.  Oxford Art Online offers an excellent introductory article to fiber art for beginners; it provides links to the articles of several prominent female fiber artists and a list of suggested resources for furthering your research. Check it out on our patron computer!(Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center. Conceptual Textiles: Material Meanings.  Seeking to challenge the “‘fine art’ and ‘craft’ dichotomy,” Conceptual Textiles is a survey of fiberworks that merge the “crafty” elements of fiber with elements of fine art to enhance the meaning of their works. The book divides these pieces by common themes, such as “The Relationship of Cloth to the Body” and “The Cultural Construction of Gender in Relation to the Production of Textiles.” The size and quality of the photographs make this book great for browsing as well as for research. (N6512.5.F48 1998)
  • LRC_BookshelvesRetzer, John Peter and Florence Horn. Fiber R/evolution: Exhibition.  This is a catalogue from a 1986 exhibition about the progress of fiber art from the 1950s onwards. It’s divided into two parts: the first part shows work from established fiber artists from the textile revolution to the year of the exhibition, while the second part explores the work of artists who expand the definition of fiber art. Brief biographies of the artists are included. (EXHI CAT N6512.5.F48 F55 1986)
  • Fiber: The Artist’s View.  Fiber: The Artist’s View is an exhibition catalogue for Hillwood Art Gallery featuring 25 notable fiber artists. In addition to photographs of the artwork, the catalogue contains brief biographies of the artists, selected exhibitions and collections, and quotes from the artists themselves. (EXHI CAT N6494.F47 F52 1983)
  • Intimate and Intense.  Intimate and Intense looks at a collection of small fiber structures made between 1964 and 1989. Originally owned by Ruth Kaufmann, it includes some pieces not technically considered fiber art “to expand the boundaries of fiber, thereby adding to the diversity of art in general.” Short artists’ biographies are included. (EXHI CAT NK8475.F53 I58 1992)

This is just a handful of the resources the Library and Research Center has to offer. If you would like to know more about fiber art or about a particular artist, don’t hesitate to ask us; we’d be happy to help!

—Rebecca Thomson is the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

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