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Excerpt from an interview with Lenore Tawney by Jean d'Autillia:
"You make no plans ahead of time?"
"No, I don't.  I pick up what's near me.  My desk is usually a terrible mess, with layer upon layer.  When I'm working and I need something, my hand just goes to that place wherever it is -- under whatever it is.  That's why in my studio I have a lot of thing around:  yarn, bones, feathers, egg shells, stones, even the mail and magazines that come in, I use everything."

"You're a real saver then?"
"I'm not a saver -- I'm a user!"

Lenore Tawney: A Personal World
Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, Connecticut, 1978

Lenore was both a saver and a user.  Her studio houses an extraordinary collection of objects and images that became the resource and inspiration for her work in collage and assemblage. May unused items -- bones, feathers, ocean-polished pebbles, faded papers -- remain.  These selected objects are being given to you as a memento of Lenore's unique sensitivity and respect for material beauty.

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact