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SMOOTH: Mangle Boards of Northern Europe & Contemporary Concepts

April 21 - July 22

[Image from left to right: Hilary Pfeifer, Pussy Grabs Back (2017), Photo by Dan Kvitka. Untitled Mangle Board, Germany, n.d. Collection of Marty and Buck Carson, Photo by James B. Abbott and Jay Texter]

Join us in the Gerry Lenfest Gallery for an exhibition of mangle boards, highly-ornamented planks of wood used to smooth wrinkles from linen in the 16th to 19th century. The thirty-seven handcrafted mangle boards on view come from seven northern European countries.

Guest curator Jay Raymond studied four private and eighteen museum collections, in total more than 7,000 mangle boards, and authored a massive reference, Mangle Boards of Northern Europe (2015).

The Center gratefully acknowledges the following lenders of historic mangle boards: Marty and Buck Carson, Jacqueline Lind, and the American Swedish Historical Museum.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the Center invited twelve artists to produce new mangle boards. The project elicited a range of responses—from works that reflected the traditional motifs seen in this art form, to meditations on women’s work and the current political upheaval.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Melissa Engler & Graeme Priddle | Ashley Eriksmoen | Amy Forsyth | Michael Hosaluk | Katie Hudnall | Beth Ireland | Hilary Pfeifer | Merryll Saylan | Michael Scarborough | Betty Scarpino | Kimberly Winkle  

First Fridays – May 5, June 2, July 7, 2017, 5 – 8:00 PM at the Center

Gallery talks – April 22, 2017, 2 – 4:00 PM with curator Jay Raymond and artists Amy Forsyth and Michael Scarsborough, 4 – 6:00 PM reception

June 6, 2017, 6 – 8:00 PM with Jay Raymond and artist Beth Ireland at the Center

For questions about our events and to RSVP please contact Katie Sorenson at [email protected].

Exhibitions at the Center are generously supported by the Cambium Circle members of The Center for Art in Wood, The Bresler Family Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Windgate Charitable Foundation. Corporate support is provided by Boomerang, Inc., Penn State Industries and Signarama Center City.








April 21
July 22
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The Center for Art in Wood
(215) 923-8000


The Center for Art in Wood
141 N. 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106 United States
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(215) 923-8000