Miriam Schaer

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Miriam Schaer, a Brooklyn-based multimedia book artist, uses garments to explore feminine, social, and spiritual issues. She is represented in numerous collections, including the Alan Chasanoff Book Arts Collection at the Yale Museum and Arts of the Book Collection at Yale’s Sterling Library; the Mata & Arthur Jaffe Collection: Book as Aesthetic Object at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Harvard University and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Her work has earned a NYFA Artists Fellowship, inclusion in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for the Feminist Art Base at the Brooklyn Museum, and representation at the Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea. In 2007, she was an artist in residence for the Imagining the Book Biennale at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt.

Her project, Crafting Women’s Stories: Lives in Georgian Felt, with Columbia College Chicago colleagues Clifton Meador and Melissa Potter, received Soros Funding and was realized in 2013 to work with local women’s groups in the Republic of Georgia to make artist books from felt-a local craft heritage

Her series, Baby (Not) On Board: The Last Prejudice?, about society’s prejudice against women without children, was included in MAMA-Motherhood Around the Globe at the International Museum of Women, and was featured on Babble.com and the Huffington Post.

She is currently a Lecturer in the Interdisciplinary MFA Program in Book and Paper at Columbia College Chicago. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia College Chicago, she taught Art of the Book at Pratt Institute, and was a visiting artist a numerous institutions including Sarah Lawrence College, Marshall University, Colorado College among others.

Art and Research Interests

“My work is a way of asking questions, to explore feminine, social, political and spiritual issues. I use a variety of materials-clothing, printed matter, dressmaker pins, thread, staples with photography to tease out the narrative, asking questions that rarely have answers. Most recently my work has focused on the relationship of women to motherhood-or-non-motherhood. How do women without children situate themselves in a world that largely values women for their fertility?   I began to realize the complexities of these relationships as my own mother began to show signs of dementia.  As we age, and our parents age-how do we negotiate the role reversal—when our parents many live beyond the point they can care for themselves and, like small children, are cared for by their own children, now adults. There are no easy answers. I hope to engage in dialog about these and other issues that touch many people’s lives.”