Skip to main content

Art to Wear

Walking Quilt, 1973–1974, by Louise Todd Cope

Art to Wear—also called Wearable Art—emerged in the United States in the late 1960s and flourished during the following decades, created by a generation of mixed-media artists who pioneered a new art form designed around the body. These artists, who came of age during the dramatic cultural shifts of the 1960s and 1970s, explored nontraditional materials, methods, and ideas to create adventurous, imaginative works. With roots and connections in fine arts, fiber art, craft, performance, and fashion, Art to Wear expresses the personal visions of each artist and connects to the cultural, historical, and social concerns of their time.

The museum’s collection of Art to Wear includes iconic works from the collection of Julie Schafler Dale, who championed its artists at her Julie: Artisans Gallery (1973–2013) in New York and in her seminal 1986 publication, Art to Wear.