Private Affair II

Claire Zeisler, American, 1903 - 1991

Made in United States, North and Central America


Cotton and rayon

Height: 10 feet (304.8 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
Costume and Textiles

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with funds contributed by The Women’s Committee and the Craft Show Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1987

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Additional information:
  • PublicationPhiladelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections

    Trained as a painter and sculptor, and with broad experience as an astute collector of pre-Columbian objects, Native American baskets, and contemporary art, Claire Zeisler did not begin to show her own fiber works until the early 1960s, when she was nearly sixty. She quickly was recognized internationally as a leader in the revolution in the fiber arts that occurred during that decade, when traditional weaving was replaced by wide-ranging experimentation with materials and techniques. Zeisler became famous for the boldness of her strikingly large, often freestanding forms in natural or primary colors, which gave mass and three-dimensionality to supple fiber by using the off-loom technique of knotting, often combined with luxuriant cascades of unworked fiber falling into an opulent tangle at the base. In Private Affair II, the ten-foot spill of red fiber is built up of individual elements created from a repertory of ancient techniques unique to fiber--twisting into rope, knotting, wrapping, braiding, and fringing. The dramatic result embodies Zeisler's stated goal of creating "large, strong, single images." Darrel Sewell, from Philadelphia Museum of Art: Handbook of the Collections (1995), p. 301.