The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum was founded in 1977 with a visionary purpose: to stimulate experimentation among leading contemporary artists and to share the process of creating works of art with the public. Providing studio facilities, equipment, and expert technicians, FWM originally invited artists to experiment with fabric, and later with a wide range of innovative materials and media. From the outset, FWM also served as an education center for Philadelphia’s youth who, as printing apprentices, learned technical and vocational skills along with approaches to creative expression.
Today, FWM is recognized as an internationally acclaimed contemporary art museum, uniquely distinguished as the only institution in the United States devoted to creating work in new materials and new media in collaboration with artists coming from diverse artistic backgrounds—including sculpture, installation, video, painting, ceramics, and architecture. Research, construction, and fabrication occur on-site in studios that are open to the public, providing visitors with the opportunity to see artwork from conception to completion. In fact, the FWM’s permanent collection includes not only complete works of art, but also material research, samples, prototypes, and photography and video of artists making and speaking about their work. FWM seeks to bring this spirit of artistic investigation and discovery to the wider public and to area school children in particular, to ensure and broaden their access to art, and to advance the role of art as a catalyst for innovation and social connection. FWM offers an unparalleled experience to the most significant artists of our time, students, and the general public.
The FWM has developed from an ambitious experiment to a renowned institution with a widely-recognized Artist-in-Residence Program, an extensive permanent collection of new work created by artists at the Museum, in-house and touring exhibitions, and comprehensive educational programming including lectures, tours, in-school presentations and student apprenticeships.