Join this online talk with T’ai Smith, Canadian art historian and author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design, in conversation with Leena Svinhufvud, Head of Learning at Design Museum Helsinki.
In Bauhaus Weaving Theory, T’ai Smith confronts the common belief that the crafts are manual and technical but never intellectual arts. She uncovers new significance in the work the Bauhaus weavers did as writers and shows that Anni Albers, Gunta Stölzl, and Otti Berger challenged assumptions about the feminine nature of their craft.
The exhibition of the Finnish textile designer Greta Skogster-Lehtinen (1900–1994) offers a platform for reflections on material and theoretical in textile practices. In this talk, traditional view to textiles as mere craft is challenged and hand weaving is highlighted as an intellectual activity. Does this perspective change our view to Nordic design history? What was the impact of Bauhaus weaving theories in Finland?
T’ai Smith is associate professor of modern and contemporary art history and media studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Author of Bauhaus Weaving Theory: From Feminine Craft to Mode of Design (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), she has lectured and published internationally on textile art, design, and theory. Her writings have appeared in various periodicals, including Art Journal, Grey Room, Texte zur Kunst, Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung, and in catalogues for the Museum of Modern Art, ICA Boston, and Tate Modern. She contributed to Anni Albers, On Weaving: New Expanded Edition (Princeton University Press, 2017). She is currently working to complete two book manuscripts: Fashion After Capital and Textile Media: Tangents from Modern to Contemporary Art.
Leena Svinhufvud is the Educational Curator and Head of Learning at Design Museum Helsinki since 1998. She is an art historian, PhD, with Title of Docent at her alma mater, the University of Helsinki. Leena wrote her doctorate thesis on modernization and textile design in Finland in the 20s and 30s. She is specialized in the history of modern textile design and has curated exhibitions and published widely on the topic. Her most recent book is Greta Skogster-Lehtinen – Tekstiilitaiteilija (2019, jointly with Päikki Priha).