1907 Born in Lorain, OH, daughter of Sarah Jennings and William Gallagher

Lenore Tawney (left) with her mother and siblings, Lorain, OH, ca. 1913
Lenore Tawney (left) with her mother and siblings, Lorain, OH, ca. 1913
1927 Moves to Chicago
1927–42 Works as proofreader for publisher of court opinions and attends evening classes at the Art Institute of Chicago
1941 Marries George Tawney
1943 Death of George Tawney
1943–45 Resides In Urbana, Illinois. Studies art (art therapy) at University of Illinois
1945 Travels to Mexico
1946 Returns to Chicago
1946–1947 Attends Institute of Design, Chicago. Studies sculpture with Alexander Archipenko, drawing with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, drawing and watercolor painting with Emerson Woelffer, weaving with Marli Ehrman

Chicago, 1948
Chicago, 1948
1947–48 Further studies with Archipenko in Chicago and at his studio in Woodstock, NY
1949–51 Lives in Paris and travels extensively throughout Europe and North Africa
1954 Studies tapestry with Martta Taipale at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC

At the loom, Penland School of Crafts, NC, 1954
At the loom, Penland School of Crafts, NC, 1954
1955 Begins open-warp weavings
1956 Travels throughout Greece and Near East to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt

Greece, 1956
1957 Tapestry commissioned by Marshall Field, North Shore Shopping Center, ChicagoMember, textile design panel, American Craftsmen’s Council’s (now American Craft Council) First National Conference of Craftsmen, Asilomar, CA

Moves to 27 Coenties Slip, New York, NY

Coenties Slip, New York, 1958. Photo: David Attie
1958 Moves to 27 South Street, New York, NY
1959 Commissioned by the Interchurch Center to create a large tapestry for the narthex of the chapel in its new building on Riverside Drive, New York
1960 Completes Nativity in Nature for Interchurch Center, New York

Lenore Tawney, Nativity in Nature, 1960, 126” x 50”. The Interchurch Center, New York
1961 Studies gauze weave with Lili Blumenau; explores gauze-weave techniquesLenore Tawney, Tawney’s first solo exhibition in New York, opens at the Staten Island Museum. Forty weavings created between 1955 and 1961 are exhibited
1962 Designs an “open reed” for her loom, allowing the shape of the works to change as they are woven. Creates “woven forms”Moves to Thomas Street, and then to Beekman Street, New York

1962.Tawney,Beekman Street(ca.1965)
Beekman Street studio, ca. 1965
1963 Twenty-two of Tawney’s new “woven forms” are exhibited in the seminal Woven Forms at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts (now Museum of Arts and Design), New York, along with work by Alice Adams, Sheila Hicks, Dorian Zachai, and Claire Zeisler. Portions of the exhibition tour internationallyDark River (1962) acquired by Museum of Modern Art, New York

Commissioned by Congregation Solel to create the ark veil for its new building in Highland Park, IL

Lenore Tawney, Ark veil, 1963, 120” x 54”. Congregation Solel, Highland Park, IL
1964 Gewebte Formen, based on Woven Forms, opens at the Kunstgewerbe Museum in Zurich. Work by Tawney, Sheila Hicks, and Claire Zeisler is included. Travels with Hicks and Zeisler to the exhibition in Switzerland and to France

Installation of works by Lenore Tawney, Gewebte Formen, Kunstgewerbemuseum, Zurich, 1964

During First World Congress of Craftsmen, sponsored by American Craftsmen’s Council in New York, visits New Jersey factory to see an industrial Jacquard loom

Studies Jacquard harness at Textile Institute, Philadelphia, PA

Begins a series of drawings inspired by Jacquard loom

1964–65 Begins work in collage and assemblage; creates first postcard collages
1965 Travels to Peru and Bolivia
1966 Moves to Spring Street, New York

Spring Street studio, New York, 1966. Photo: Clayton J. Price
1969 Travels throughout Far East to Japan and Thailand, with extended stay in India

India, 1969.

Studies at New York Zendo

Included in Wall Hangings which premieres at the Museum of Modern Art, New York and tours nationally

Included in Objects: USA, The Johnson Collection of Contemporary Crafts which premieres at National Collection of Fine Arts, Washington, D.C. and tours nationally and internationally

1970 Moves to East 4th Street, New YorkMeets Swami Muktananda

Tawney and Swami Muktananda, ca. 1975
1973 Moves to Wooster Street, New York

Wooster Street studio, 1974. Photo: Clayton J. Price

Travels to Ireland

1974 Integrates weaving and paper collageTravels to Guatemala

Toshiko Takaezu and Lenore Tawney, Guatemala, 1974
1975 Elected Fellow of American Craftsmen’s Council (inaugural group)
1976 Weaves Waters Above the Firmament, her last work on the loom

Completing Waters Above the Firmament, 1976
1976–77 Travels to India
1977 Moves to Quakertown, NJReceives General Services Administration commission for lobby of Santa Rosa Federal Building, Santa Rosa, CA
1977–78 Creates and installs Cloud Series IV in Santa Rosa Federal Building.

Lenore Tawney, Cloud Series IV, 1978, 16’ x 30’ x 5’. Santa Rosa Federal Building, Santa Rosa, CA
1978 Artist-in-residence, University of Notre Dame, IN
1979 Receives National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman’s Fellowship Grant
1981 Cloud Series VI commissioned and installed at Frank J. Lausche State Office Building, Cleveland, OHMoves to 20th Street, New York

20th Street studio, 1985. Photo: Paul J. Smith
1982 Artist-in-residence, Fabric Workshop, Philadelphia, PATravels to Taiwan and India
1983 Cloud Series VII commissioned and installed at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury, CTReceives Honor Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Visual Arts, Women’s Caucus for Art, Port of History Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Triune (1961) acquired by Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Waters Above the Firmament (1976) acquired by Art Institute of Chicago

1987 Distinguished Lecturer, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZReceives American Craft Council’s Gold Medal Award
1989 Travels to Italy
1990 Lenore Tawney: A Retrospective opens at American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design), New York and tours nationally

At the opening of Lenore Tawney: A Retrospective, American Craft Museum, New York, 1990
1991 Travels to Greece
1992 Awarded Honorary Doctorate Degree, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MDInstallation of Cloud Labyrinth, Great Hall, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Lenore Tawney, Cloud Labyrinth, 1983, 16’ x 24’ x 18’. Great Hall, University of the Arts, Philadelphia. Photo: Jack Ramsdale
1994 Begins Shrines and Drawings In Air

Tawney with Drawing In Air XV (The Crossing), 1998. Photo: George Erml
1995 Travels to Colombia
1996 Travels to Netherlands
1999 Receives Master of the Medium Award, Renwick Alliance, Washington, DC
2000 Receives Visionaries Award, American Craft Museum (now Museum of Arts and Design), New York, NY
2007 Dies at her loft in New York