Mar. 11 Art Minute: Louise Bourgeois, “Shackle Necklace”

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Louise Bourgeois (American, born France, 1911–2010), Shackle Necklace. Sterling silver, forged, drilled, designed about 1947–48; made 1998–99. H. 6 7/8 in.; W. 7 5/16 in. Purchased with funds from the Libbey Endowment, Gift of Edward Drummond Libbey, 2010.45. Gallery 34 (Jewelry Gallery).

Louise Bourgeois designed this necklace in the 1940s as a personal statement against the violence she had witnessed against prisoners during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), who were asphyxiated by shackles of this shape. It was also designed as a comment about the female state, a metaphor for the social, political, and legal constraints of women before the feminist movement.

Related Program

Art House Film Series: “Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, the Mistress and the Tangerine”
March 11: 7 p.m., Little Theater
Art House is the Toledo Museum of Art’s ongoing Friday film series that presents feature films and full-length documentaries about artists and museums. This 2008 documentary is a portrait of the extraordinary multi-media artist Louise Bourgeois, who died two years after the film’s release at the age of 98. Bourgeois was the first woman to be honored with a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, at the age of 71.


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