Matilda McQuaid, (MA, architectural history, University of Virginia and BA, art history, Bowdoin College), is deputy director of curatorial and head of the Textiles department at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. Prior to the Cooper Hewitt, she worked at The Museum of Modern Art, NY, where she curated over 30 exhibitions, including the highly acclaimed “Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles.” At Cooper Hewitt, her exhibitions have included “Josef + Anni Albers: Designs for Living” (2004), “Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance” (2005), and “Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay” (2011). Currently she is co-curator for “Tools: Extending Our Reach” for the reopening of the Cooper Hewitt in December 2014. Among her many publications are Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles (1998); Extreme Textiles: Designing for High Performance (2005); and National Design Triennial: Why Design Now? (2010), and Tools: Extending Our Reach (2014).
Matilda is chairing the LACMA plenary session New Directions: New Ways of Thinking. This panel explores our expanding view of the form and function of textiles now, as well as our profound understanding and perception of their role and context in the future. Textiles as physical, conceptual, digital, artistic, architectural forms, designed as part of life, building spaces, creating spaces, creative spaces, thought processes, to use, to touch, experience, create, feel, grow, count, sense: respond, direct, control, teach, contain, act, emit, emote, protect, connect. What is a textile?