The Art and Design of Spider Silk
This show explores the capabilities of spiders and how they have inspired and enchanted a host of engineers, artists, and designers looking to reimagine the tensile strength, luster, and beauty of spiderwebs. Sustainable design practices and cutting-edge uses of spider silk are surveyed across contemporary projects highlighted by a debut of shawls by the design firm Godley & Peers that were entirely created from silk produced in Madagascar by golden orb spiders (Nephila madagascariensis). Work made by the British label Strumpet & Pink from cotton and Microsilk© yarn newly developed by the American company Bolt Threads makes its premiere. Further loans include contemporary menswear by the international skate and streetwear company Supreme that gives new life and meaning to the acrobatic fashions of Spiderman. RISD Museum collection items range from garments by designers Sruli Recht and Raf Simons to photography by Sally Gall to 19th-century prints by Utagawa Hiroshige.
RISD Museum is supported by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and with the generous partnership of the Rhode Island School of Design, its Board of Trustees, and Museum Governors.