Hudson River Museum

Yonkers, New York




Family Ties: Needlework by Denise Allen

January 15 - May 9, 1999

Denise Allen, Women's Work, 1997, mixed media, 47 x 95 inches, collection of the artist

Contemporary folk artist Denise Allen has been using needlework to address social and historical themes for nearly 20 years. Employing applique, crewel, patchwork, embroidery and quiitmaking techniques, she fabricates textile works that explore her African American heritage. Some pieces address historic topics, such as slavery in 19th-century America.

These works represent real people and events to tell such stories as Harriet Tubman and the creation of the Underground Railroad. Other works are more personal, bringing to life Allen's childhood memories of growing up in Brooklyn. Almost all pieces depict traditional domestic chores like cooking (the black pot-bellied stove figures prominently in most works), sewing, washing and ironing, cleaning and caring for children. Others recreate rural scenes, like the hustle and bustle inside a local country store or the joy of worshipping in church.

rev. 11/22/10

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