Muted Belles , 1994, University of Memphis

Muted Belles, 1994, University of Memphis

Gail Rothschild is intimately familiar with the effects of time and decay on art. After graduating from Yale with a BA (cum laude), she embarked on a peripatetic career creating site-specific sculptural installations for colleges and museums. From Jeffrey Lord Amherst and Biological Warfare at the University of Massachusetts to Margaret Bourke White’s clandestine steel mill photographs for Cleveland, each one addressed an under-recognized aspect of local history. A few public sculptures such as Muted Belles for the University of Memphis were permanent, while her finalist design for a Boston Women’s Monument remains un-built. Most of these commissions for institutions such as the Bronx Museum, The Hudson River Museum, The DeCordova Museum, MOMA PS1 and the Socrates Sculpture Park were impermanent, or even destroyed by the artist at the end of installation, simply due to the cost of transporting and storing their elements.

Medusa , from  Portraits of Ancient Linen  installation at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum of Queens College, New York, 2018

Medusa, from Portraits of Ancient Linen installation at the Godwin-Ternbach Museum of Queens College, New York, 2018

Considering her role in the construction and destruction of her own work, and her interest in the ancient world led Rothschild to The Odyssey and Penelope’s cycle of weaving and un-weaving. By utilizing archaic textiles as the subjects of her Portraits of Ancient Linen series, Rothschild alludes to her affinity with Penelope's struggle. Rothschild charts the craftsmanship and skill associated with the making of each woven artifact, while simultaneously noting the un-making of each surviving fabric piece in the face of time. Her concisely rendered paintings illustrate this defabrication of textiles, capitalizing on an inescapable paradox – what is interwoven will ultimately unravel, and that which grows will inevitably decay. Employing her technical prowess, Rothschild harnesses painting methods rooted in the tradition of the Old Masters. She realizes her source material, actual pieces of linen discovered on archeological digs, as worthy subjects in their own rights, articulating the simultaneous strength and fragility of linen cloth. The resulting Portraits of Ancient Linen are in numerous private collections as well as public collections such as the Mattatuck Museum, drawing the attention of antiquities scholars as well as textile curators and conservators.



  • Godwin-Ternbach Museum, From the Desert to the City: The Journey of Late Ancient Textiles. Queens College, Queens, NY.

  • Village West Gallery, Ancien Régime: the pre-revolutionary world. Newark, NJ.

  • Textile Society of America’s 16th Biennial Symposium, The Social Fabric: Deep Local to Pan Global. Vancouver, BC, Canada.

  • L'Atelier Berkshires Gallery, Viva La Femme. Great Barrington, MA.

  • d’Art Center, Material: An Exhibition of Original Fiber Artworks from Across the Country. Norfolk, VA.


  • Daughters of Elysium, Women’s Work. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Site:Brooklyn, Text & Image. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Village West Gallery, Four Seasons. Newark, NJ.


  • Arc’teryx Soho, Climberscapes. New York, NY.

  • National Arts Club, Contemporary Figures: Form Beyond Function. New York, NY.


  • Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The Missing: Rebuilding the Past. New York, NY.

  • National Arts Club, Portraits of Ancient Linen. New York, NY.


  • Westport Arts Center, Perception Illusion MAGIC. Westport, CT. Chace-Randall Gallery, Curator’s Choice. Andes, NY.

  • Bollinger Projects, Gail Rothschild’s Portraits of Ancient Linen. Brooklyn, NY.


  • Mattatuck Museum, Weaving and Knitting: The Art of Gail Rothschild and Daina Taimina. Waterbury, CT.

  • Westport Arts Center, Home Sweet Home. Westport, CT.

  • Joy Reed Belt Gallery, Solo show. Oklahoma City, OK.

  • Chace-Randall Gallery, Solo show. Andes, NY.

  • Pierogi Gallery, Unhinged. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Westport Arts Center, SOLOS exhibition. Westport, CT.


  • Old Stone House of Brooklyn, Fabrications: An Exhibit by Artist Gail Rothschild. New York, NY.

  • Eckert Fine Art, Unexpressible Paradoxes. Millerton, NY.

  • Joy Reed Belt Gallery, Solo show. Oklahoma City, OK.

  • City Without Walls, Knot Your Average Knit. Newark, NJ.


  • ArtHamptons, with Eckert Fine Art. Bridgehampton, NY.


  • Littlefields. Brooklyn, NY .

  • Eckert Fine Art. Kent, CT.

  • SHO Gallery, Summer Exhibition. Brooklyn, NY.


  • PS 122, Yarn Theory: Knitting, Crochet, Math and Science. New York, NY.

  • Kentler International Drawing Center. New York, NY.

  • Hewitt Gallery, Viridis I. New York, NY.

  • Pierogi Gallery. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Oxfam, Human Countdown. In collaboration with Christopher Caines. New York, NY.


  • Susan Eley Gallery, Summer Show. New York, NY.

  • Susan Eley Gallery, Red Dot Art Fair. New York, NY.

  • Freddy's Backroom, Found in Brooklyn. New York, NY.


  • Kentler International Drawing Center, Works From the Flat File. New York, NY.

  • Little Cakes Little Gallery, Drawings for NYC Animal Care & Control. New York, NY.

  • Artex, Global Contemporary. Kyrgyz Republic, Central Asia.

  • PS1/MOMA, Emergency Room. NYC/Berlin/Athens.

  • Stitch Therapy, A Graphic Investigation of Knitted Plane Topology. Solo show. Brooklyn, NY.


  • Eastern Parkway Associates, Traymore Courtyard. Solo. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Prospect Owners, Oasis. Solo show. Brooklyn, NY.


  • New York Fringe Festival, Operation Knockout. New York, NY.


  • Private Commission, Design for a Horse Farm. Solo. Hatfield, NA.


  • Private Commission, Piano Garden for a Composer. Solo. Durham, NC.


  • Private Commission, Gillian's Garden. Solo. Brooklyn, NY.


  • City of Boston, Women’s Memorial. One of 5 finalists invited to develop design. Boston, MA.


  • Mead Art Museum, Amherst College. Amherst, MA.


  • Henry Street Settlement. New York, NY.

  • Chesterwood, Monument. Curated by Lisa Dennison. Stockbridge, MA.


  • Jamaica Arts Center, Solo show. New York, NY.

  • Operation GreenThumb, The Nature of New York. Solo. New York, NY.

  • New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, Mackintosh Macbeth. New Jersey.


  • Memphis State University, Muted Belles. Solo. Memphis, TN.

  • University of New South Wales, Medea Material. Solo. Sydney, Australia.


  • ICA Traveling Exhibition, Monumental Propaganda. Curated by Komar & Melamid.


  • Spaces Gallery, Margaret Bourke-White Photographs the Flats. Solo. Cleveland, OH.

  • The Painted Bride Art Center, Earth Woman Room. Solo. Philadelphia, PA.

  • City of Memphis, Windows of the Dream. Solo. Memphis, TN.

  • City Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hot Spot. Solo. Raleigh, NC.


  • NICAF Yokohama, International Art Fair. Yokohama, Japan.

  • deCordova Museum, Woman in the 19th Century. Solo. Lincoln, MA.

  • University of Arkansas, People From Off. Solo. Little Rock, AR.

  • University of Akron, Rubber Union: Akron/Amazon. Solo. Akron, OH.

  • University of Massachusetts, Hot Spot. Solo. Amherst, MA.


  • Rotunda Gallery. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Hillwood Art Museum, Original Sin. Brookville, NY.

  • Socrates Sculpture Park, Ploughshares into Swords. Solo. New York, NY.


  • Municipal Art Society, Garbage Out Front. New York, NY.

  • Bronx Museum of the Arts. Bronx, NY.

  • Artists Space, Artists Space Underground. Solo. New York, NY.

  • Out of the Woods. Fairmount Park. Acid Rain. Philadelphia, PA.

  • Hudson River Museum, Souvenirs of Nature. Solo. Yonkers, NY.


  • Long Island University, Making Time in Steps. Brooklyn, NY.

  • Art Awareness, Shadow of the Last Beast. Solo. Lexington, NY.

  • Henry Street Settlement, The Hay People. Solo. New York, NY.

  • Boston University Gallery, Terra Firma? Boston, MA.


  • Bread & Puppet Theater. Glover, VT.


  • Museum of Art, Science & Industry, Brick Triptych. Solo. Bridgeport, CT.

  • Bronx Museum, Burning the Jungle, the Rainforest Burns. Bronx, NY.

  • Glady Run, Four Views: Muskingum Valley. Summerfield, OH.

  • NYC Dept of General Services: Operation GreenThumb, Gaia/Mother Earth. Solo. New York, NY.

  • Clocktower Gallery, Engaging Objects. Cur. Tom Finkelpearl. New York, NY.


  • Wexner Heritage Village, Sculpture at Heritage Village. Columbus, OH.


  • The Albany Institute of History and Art. Albany, NY.

  • New York Capital Area Women's Caucus for Art, Cycles. Albany, NY.



  • Goethe Institute. Sydney, Australia.

  • University of Memphis. Memphis, TN.

  • School of Visual Arts. New York, NY.

  • North Carolina Society For Ethical Culture. Chapel Hill, NC.

  • Nassau Community College. Garden City, NY.


  • City Gallery of Contemporary Art. Raleigh, NC.

  • Memphis State University. Memphis, TN.

  • University of Mississippi. University, MS.

  • Memphis College of Art. Memphis, TN.

  • Oberlin College. Oberlin, OH.

  • MoMA P.S.1 Museum. Long Island City, NY.


  • University of Akron. Akron, OH.

  • University of Arkansas. Fayetteville, AR.


  • Socrates Sculpture Park. Long Island City, NY.

  • Hirsch Farm Project. Hillsboro, WI.

  • University of Massachusetts. Amherst, MA.

  • Yaddo. Saratoga Springs, NY.


  • Guggenheim Museum, Learning Through the Arts. New York, NY.


  • Public Art Fund. New York, NY.

  • Sculpture Outdoors. Philadelphia, PA.


  • Henry Street Settlement. New York, NY.


  • Connemara Conservancy Foundation. Dallas, TX.


  • Artists Space. New York, NY.


  • Fairfield University. Fairfield, CT.


  • Bronx Museum, Artists in the Marketplace Program. Bronx, NY.


  • Art in America. International Review, 2009

  • Interweave Knits. Spring, 2007

  • Knitting. UK, December, 2006

  • New Art Examiner. 'Hot Spot' at City Gallery of Contemporary Art. 1993

  • Raleigh News and Observer. The Art of Biological Warfare. Chuck Twardy. August 13, 1993

  • Boston Globe. Sculpture Finds It's Place in Nature. Elaine Senay. August 9, 1992

  • Art Papers. Gail Rothschild: People From Off. Mari B. Lee. July/August 1992

  • Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Sculpture at UALR. Susan Pierce. January 17, 1992

  • Little Rock Public Radio. Interview with Lloyd Benjamin. January, 1992

  • Staviniger Aftenbled. Natur og kultur I dialog. Trond Borgen. Norway, July 23, 1991

  • Art New England. Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood. Marty Carlock. November, 1991

  • WBAI. Surviving As An Artist. October, 1991

  • Art In America. Eleanor Heartney, May 1991

  • Daily Hampshire Gazette. Sculpture That Moves Us. Patricia Wright. 11.14.91

  • Union News. Artwork Tailored to Amherst. Anne-Gerard Flynn. 10.10.91

  • Amherst Bulletin. “Installing a Different View of Lord Jeff.” Bruce Watson. 10.11.91

  • Daily Hampshire Gazette. Sculpture Hits the BIG Time. Patricia Wright. 9.5.91

  • The Schenectady Gazette. “Chesterwood exhibit...” Peg Churchill Wright. 7.11.91

  • The Berkshire Record. “Living Sculpture.” Honey Sharp Lippman. 8.23.91

  • The Philadelphia Enquirer. “Sculpture in Fairmount Park.” Marie McCullough. July 30, 1990

  • WNYC-TV. “Artists in the Gardens.” November 1990

  • The New York Times. Sculpture For Troubled Places. Michael Bernson. October 15, 1989

  • Dallas Times Herald. “Connemara Airs Outdoor Sculpture.” Ann Jarmusch. March 19, 1989

  • Dallas Morning News. “Connemara Inspires Sculptors' Works.” Janet Kutner. 3.18.89

  • The Boston Phoenix. “'Terra Firma?' at Boston U. Gallery.” David Bonetti. March 16, 1989

  • Dialogue. Earthworks... Gary J. Schwindler. March-April 1989

  • The Daily Free Press. “'Terra Firm?'” Monica Siems. 3.16.89

  • The Marietta Times. Glady Run: Sculpture, Earth Meet. Roger Kalter. 5.28.88

  • The Phoenix. BACA Shows the State of the Art. A.B. Hsuan. July 30, 1987

  • Newsday. Taking Part in Downtown Art. Karin Lipson. May 9, 1986


  • New York Textile Month, New York Textile Month 3. Essay by T’ai Smith, 2018.

  • Anya & Andrew Shiva Gallery, The Missing: Rebuilding the Past. Essay by Erin Thompson, 2015.

  • National Arts Club, Portraits of Ancient Linen. Essay by Cynthia Roznoy, 2015.

  • PS 122. Yarn Theory: Knitting, Crochet, Math and Science, 2009

  • DeCordova Museum. Essay by Nick Capasso, 1997

  • Chesterwood Museum. Essay by Lisa Dennison, 1996

  • University of Memphis. Muted Belles, 1994

  • City Gallery of Contemporary Art. Hot Spot. Essay by Eleanor Heartney, 1993

  • Painted Bride Art Center. Earth Woman Room. Essay by Ed Brown, 1993

  • Windows of the Dream. Essay by Leslie Luebbers, Memphis, TN,1993

  • deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, 1992

  • Mud. Hirsch Farm Project. Essay by Mitchell Kane, 1991


1981 Yale University. B.A., Cum Laude

1979 Yale in Norfolk Painting Program