Mamah

Mamah 2018
42″ x 17″ x 16.5″

The subject and title of this piece unfolded as it was created. That happens sometimes. As it did, my ladies as chairs entered new fertile territory.

Up to now, I was documenting roles that women play in these chairs, and illustrating how “subterranean” repair work was done to enable women to cope with their unequal status at work, at home, or the many places our country is discussing now.

And that repair work has been done here as well. We see a straight-backed chair which has basically been hacked in half, with a lot of substructure applied to keep the chair standing.

It is the support parts that made me know that the name for this chair would be Mamah.

More specifically, the lines in the upright wooden elements, and the stair- step shape most obvious in the first image in this post. As the composition began to take shape, I thought about Frank Lloyd Wright.

The only Mamah I have ever heard of is the Mamah who became the mistress of Frank Lloyd Wright. Have you read “Loving Frank” by Nancy Horan?

No pun was intended, but I leave my former description, because Mamah Borthwick was killed with an axe (along with her two children and five workers) before Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesen was set fire. Bad enough.

But the whole relationship with this very narcissistic man needed continual rebuilding. Two intact families were destroyed, and in the end, they had ten years before the horrible events. Mamah has to be the poster child for rebuilding until she just vanished.

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