On Our Shelves
One woman’s influential contribution to modernism, achieved through a fascinating revival of tapestry
Marie Cuttoli (1879–1973) lived in Algeria and Paris in the 1920s and collected the work of avant-garde artists such as Georges Braque, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso. In the ensuing decades, she went on to revive the French tapestry tradition and to popularize it as a modernist medium. This catalogue traces Cuttoli’s career, beginning with her work in fashion and interiors under her label Myrbor. She subsequently commissioned artists including Braque, Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Miró, and Picasso to design cartoons to be woven at Aubusson, a center of tapestry production since the 17th century. Today these cartoons—paintings and collages by canonical artists—are often understood as autonomous works of art, but this catalogue uncovers their original purpose as textile designs. Beautifully illustrated with rarely exhibited works by giants of European modernism, Marie Cuttoli reveals the significant contributions of a shrewd and visionary woman as well as the role of the decorative arts in the development of the movement.
About the Author
Cindy Kang is associate curator at the Barnes Foundation.
“A welcome addition to the library of anyone taken with the byways of twentieth-century art.”—Mario Naves, New Criterion
“Sitting down with [this book] is like touring the exhibition with an insightful curator by your side and getting a glimpse into the historical tension between high art and artisanal handwork.”—American Craft