Volutes Tapestry

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Artist
Lifespan
1881-1973
Nationality
Information
Art Type
Media / Materials
Status
Year Completed
1959
Credit
Collection of EMC Insurance Companies
Location
Latitude & Longitude
Location Description
Located on the north wall in the main lobby of EMC Insurance Companies at 717 Mulberry Street in downtown Des Moines, Iowa.

The Volutes Tapestry, 98 h x 75 w inches (249 x 190 cm) was designed in 1959 by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, one of the great European pioneers of modern art. His signature is woven in the reverse side. “Volutes” is a French word for an architectural description of a kind of scrollwork of shells. This work was made from a small preparatory sketch, expanded in  scale to 16-1/2 feet wide. The rectangular wool pile tapestry is woven with an abstract, floral black pattern which is set against a vibrant red background.

The tapestry was handwoven in India. Because of its immensity, a special loom was needed. Consequently, it is the only one of its kind. The fabric is virgin wool, with approximately 100,000 knots per square yard, each knotted individually by hand.


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