Esphyr Slobodkina

Honoring the Life and Art of a Pioneer of American Abstraction

Design For Embroidery

Design For Embroidery

Year: 1926
Type: Fashion Sketch

Catalog #: SF_0275

Current Location:
Slobodkina Foundation

Dimensions:
18 x 23

Signature / Artist Notation:
Signed on front: “Slobodkina”

When Slobodkina and her family moved to Harbin, China, her mother started a small sewing business. Although Slobodkina was young, she helped in the shop and turned out to have quite a flair for fashion. At only 12 years old, her talents at creating original embroidery designs and accessorizing were evident. Clients often asked for her opinions on different styles and adornments.

Slobodkina carried her knack for fashion and design throughout her life, winning first prize for her “Pearl in a Shell” costume that she created for the annual students’ ball at the National Academy of Design after she moved to New York. She also designed most of her own clothing and many outfits for friends and family. Even at age 89, in preparation for a reception at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Esphyr designed and assembled a wearable work of art complete with dress, coat, and hat.