Weaving a Life: The Fiber Art of Margaret Windeknecht
The MSU Museum presents a new acquisition, a collection of weavings by Margaret Windeknecht (1936-2009) in the Entry Hall.
Margaret Windeknecht was a creative and prolific weaver and author. Her fiber techniques and designs were published in 10 books, including Color and Weave, a groundbreaking work she wrote with her husband Tom on computer-aided design to develop weaving patterns. The former president of the Michigan Weavers Guild, Windeknecht received more than 70 awards in juried exhibitions and taught numerous workshops at guilds and conferences throughout the country.
Undeterred by a stroke, Windeknecht continued her creative process and altered the scale of her work and learned to weave and bead using one hand. In her later years, she worked increasingly in miniature and beadwork. It was also during this time that the majority of her published works were produced.
The MSU Museum is home to a rich and varied collection of traditional American craft and textiles, containing artifacts as well as archival resources. The collection includes handmade and handworked textiles, with examples of crochet, embroidery, tatting and lace; handwoven textiles and clothing from Michigan weavers; a 19th Century American woven coverlet and blanket collection; 19th and 20th Century handmade basketry; and an extensive quilt collection.
In recent years, the intersection of creativity and health has been a special focus of museum research and collections. In 2010 Michigan State University launched the university-wide 'The Creativity Initiative' to foster multi-disciplinary research on both broad and distinctive aspects of creative processes. One of its research clusters is Creativity and Health as there is growing evidence of the power of art and the humanities to heal and educate everyone in the circle of care, including patients, family, caregivers, health providers and advocates. On a societal level, art and the humanities are being used to educate the public, raise funds for research and resources, and to change health related social policies.
"Weaving a Life: The Fiber Art of Margaret Windeknecht" is on exhibit through July 8 at the MSU Museum.
Photo by Pearl Yee Wong, MSU Museum.