Matilda McQuaid spoke at the Modern Design History Seminar on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Her talk is entitled “Textile Variations.”

Some of the most innovative and exciting textiles are variations on themes that have been around for centuries. Focusing on the theme of process and technique, McQuaid’s talk will present examples of textiles across different time periods, cultures, and geography to show how textile making can be a uniting activity and a creative form that distinguishes its time, place, and maker. Using examples from Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum’s superb collection of textiles that span 24 centuries, this talk will offer insight into how the making of textiles creates an historic continuum that continues to inspire artists and designers today.

Matilda McQuaid is currently Deputy Curatorial Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, where she has worked since 2002. She received her B.A. in Art History from Bowdoin College and her M.A. in Architectural History from the University of Virginia. McQuaid has previously served in various curatorial roles in the Department of Architecture and Design at The Museum of Modern Art and as Exhibitions Curator and Head of the Textiles Department at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Two of her recent exhibitions at the National Design Museum, Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay(2011) and Josef and Anni Albers: Designs for Living (2006), have been awarded the AICA/USA award for Best Architecture or Design Show. In addition, McQuaid has published on a wide range of topics pertaining to the design and production of textiles. Recent articles include: “Community” and “Materials” in Why Design Now?: National Design Triennial, Ellen Lupton, et al. (New York: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2010); “Lace in Formation” in Translation, Hilary Jay, et al., Lace (Philadelphia, PA: Design Center, University of Philadelphia, 2010); and “Transforming Design” in Design Life Now: National Design Triennial Barbara J. Boemink, et al.,(New York: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, 2006).