Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art, presented by the Met Fifth Ave


The process of creating textiles has long been a springboard for artistic invention. In Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art, two extraordinary bodies of work separated by at least 500 years are brought together to explore the striking connections between artists of the ancient Andes and those of the 20th century.

Featuring more than 50 works, including major loans and new acquisitions, this cross-historical exhibition offers new insights into the emergence of abstract imagery. Each of the four modern artists featured developed innovative approaches to an ancient medium through deep study of Andean techniques. Shown together, these ancient and modern weavings reposition the place of textiles in global art history.

The exhibition displays textiles by four distinguished modern practitioners—Anni Albers, Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Olga de Amaral—alongside pieces by Andean artists from the first millennium BCE to the 16th century.


On display from March 5–June 16, 2024

at 82nd Street
New York, NY, 10028

[map link]

Anni Albers. Pasture, 1958. Tightly woven cotton threads create a green abstract pasture with burnt orange highlights
Anni Albers. Pasture, 1958. Mercerized cotton. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Edward C. Moore Jr. Gift, 1969 (69.135). © The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, 2023. Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Peter Zeray.


This exhibition is accompanied by an issue of The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Weaving Abstraction in Ancient and Modern Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v.81, no. 2 (Fall, 2023).

Curation Credits

The exhibition is made possible by The Modern Circle.

Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus on view at the Art Institute of Chicago

Lenore Tawney, The Bride Has Entered, 1982.

Established in 1919, acclaimed German art school the Bauhaus was home to an innovative weaving workshop whose influence stretched across the Atlantic.

Like the larger institution, the weaving workshop embraced the principal of equality among artists and the arts alike. Although the realities of the Bauhaus never quite matched its utopian vision, the workshop nonetheless served as an effective incubator of aesthetic and pedagogical talent. In the decades following the school’s forced closure in 1933, the Bauhaus went on to have a wide-reaching impact on American art—due in part to the large number of affiliated artists who immigrated to the US, where they continued to practice and teach in the spirit of the school’s educational system and theories.Weaving beyond the Bauhaus (on view through February 17, 2020)  traces the diffusion of Bauhaus artists, or Bauhäusler, such as Anni Albers and Marli Ehrman, and their reciprocal relationships with fellow artists and students across America. Through their ties to arts education institutions, including Black Mountain College, the Institute of Design, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Yale University, these artists shared their knowledge and experiences with contemporary and successive generations of artists, including Sheila Hicks, Else Regensteiner, Ethel Stein, Lenore Tawney, and Claire Zeisler, shaping the landscape of American art in the process.