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The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine (1984)

por Rozsika Parker

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221292,685 (3.96)6
Rozsika Parker's re-evaluation of the reciprocal relationship between women and embroidery has brought stitchery out from the private world of female domesticity into the fine arts, created a major breakthrough in art history and criticism, and fostered the emergence of today's dynamic and expanding crafts movements. "The Subversive Stitch" is now available again with a new Introduction that brings the book up to date with exploration of the stitched art of Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, as well as the work of new young female and male embroiderers. Rozsika Parker uses household accounts, women's magazines, letters, novels and the works of art themselves to trace through history how the separation of the craft of embroidery from the fine arts came to be a major force in the marginalisation of women's work. Beautifully illustrated, her book also discusses the contradictory nature of women's experience of embroidery: how it has inculcated female subservience while providing an immensely pleasurable source of creativity, forging links between women.… (mais)
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I was disappointed that the plates were not all described in the text and that none of them were in colour. ( )
  francesanngray | Aug 19, 2020 |
Rambles a bit but this is an interesting (if currently dated) look at Embroidery and how in many ways it has come to define a certain level of femininity. How it went from being a career to being an acceptable way for women to pass their time and how it has been diminished by both men and women.

I know from personal experience how little people appreciate handcrafts and how if I quote a fair price for embroidery work that people are surprised. This is an interesting look at how embroidery became the domain of both those who had to be seen to be doing something and the cause of suffering in some factories.

It's also interesting how many women subverted this and used it for their own uses, particuarly in the 20th Century. I would love to see the Dinner Party exhibition and I was very interested by the table cloth in Sweden sewn by survivors of Nazi concentration camps.

The use and sometimes interesting changes to embroidery are interesting, the fashion, the pride and the perception all make it a very useful document. I'd like to see an update. ( )
1 vote wyvernfriend | Aug 17, 2009 |
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Rozsika Parker's re-evaluation of the reciprocal relationship between women and embroidery has brought stitchery out from the private world of female domesticity into the fine arts, created a major breakthrough in art history and criticism, and fostered the emergence of today's dynamic and expanding crafts movements. "The Subversive Stitch" is now available again with a new Introduction that brings the book up to date with exploration of the stitched art of Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, as well as the work of new young female and male embroiderers. Rozsika Parker uses household accounts, women's magazines, letters, novels and the works of art themselves to trace through history how the separation of the craft of embroidery from the fine arts came to be a major force in the marginalisation of women's work. Beautifully illustrated, her book also discusses the contradictory nature of women's experience of embroidery: how it has inculcated female subservience while providing an immensely pleasurable source of creativity, forging links between women.

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