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Fiber Arts, Women in

Fiber art today differs from its centuries-old origin in the domestic, utilitarian, and decorative field created primarily by women (e.g., fabric, clothing, and household necessities). The industrial revolution, manufacturing, marketing, and an abundance of consumer goods lessened the burden of the need for spinning, weaving, or carpet and basket making production in the home. What it did not do was to eliminate the innate aesthetic creativity of some women. Because of the long-standing belief in women's inferiority, and inability to produce innovative works of art, women's association with the decorative and the utilitarian aspects of craft, the so-called lesser arts, such as fiber art, were considered less important than fine art (i.e., painting and sculpture). During the 20th century, this viewpoint gave impetus to the ...

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