RAM Remembers Katherine Westphal

We note the death of another great talent in the field, the fiber artist, Katherine Westphal, who died on March 13 at the age of 99. Westphal was born in Los Angeles and received her BA and MA degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. A painter in her early career, Westphal was hired to teach Design in 1946 at the University of Washington in Seattle. There she met and married fellow faculty member Ed Rossbach, moving with him when he was offered a position at UC Berkeley in 1950. While there, Westphal began designing textiles and eight years later, she was hired to teach Industrial Design at UC Davis. She remained there until retiring in 1979.

Westphal is known for her elaborately patterned textiles, quilts, and garments which incorporate heat transfer techniques to apply images from original sources—photographs, textile patterns—to another—usually paper—surface. Her works are in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, the Smithsonian Institution’s American Art Museum, and RAM which holds eight examples of her work created from 1977 through 1998. These works are contemporary basket forms, created in non-traditional materials and dried gourds covered in color copier-generated imagery. Westphal was inducted into the American Craft Council’s College of Fellows in 1979 and awarded its prestigious Gold Medal in 2009.

Read more about the artist on Hyperallergic

In The New York Times

Finally, on the American Craft website