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Tamar Stone ~ New York

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Tamar Stone: "Inspired by my own experiences, my books capture moments in women’s lives when issues of appearance, self esteem and assimilation become paramount due to physical restrictions placed on the body, either by fashion or by medical necessity."

The Bed Work
Corset Work


Dolls on the Road
By Tamar Stone
New York, New York: Picturetown, Inc., 2007. Edition of 25.

6 x 8". Softcover, perfect bound, printed digitally in color. Page backgrounds consist of local maps of the areas where the photos were taken as well as various shades of astro turf.

Tamar Stone: "From the beloved and worshipped, to the abused and the abandoned, these Polaroid photos document dolls found at flea markets, county fairs, yard sales and doll shows in my travels throughout the U.S from the 1990’s to the current day. Exploring the juxtaposition of dolls, these books show artifacts that have been discarded or outgrown by previous owners, now found in ironic environments with unchanged emotion, frequently naked and no longer playing with other toys. The books raise questions of what happens to our toys of yesterday and the childhood memories that are associated with them."

Vol. 1: Barbie and Ken Series. 19 double-sided pages including covers. $22.50

Vol. 2: Baby Dolls and Others. 21 double-sided pages including covers. $22.50

Dolls on the Road book vol1
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Dolls on the Road book vol2
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The Bed Work

Tamar Stone: " The more I read about women’s lives being constricted by their clothes, social mores etc. combined with the fact that I have an interest in the history of housework, I became more interested in what was happening to women in their homes..

"Because women have always been associated with the home, hearth and all the domestic duties that belong to them, this project is about memories and moments that are attached to specific objects within our homes − specifically beds. In order to create a more intimate experience, these stories are told with the use of doll beds as well as salesman sample beds.

"Historically our life cycle begins and ends in the bed, from being born in a bed, and then dying in one. As children we used the bed as an impromptu trampoline or tent. As we got older, it became the place in which intimacies are shared with significant others. It used to be that all of our life cycles (birth, sickness, death) occurred in our beds, in the family home. In the second half of the 20th century so much of our lives have been taken out of the home and moved to places where we become handled by specialists i.e. the hospital bed or any other specialized institution.

"I realize that these things have been shared by both men and women but since women tend to be the primary housekeeper of the home (and for a long time were considered the center of family life), this project focuses on girls/women and their thoughts and stories about their beds.

"It is because of these domestic associations, that in order to read these intimate stories the reader must unmake each bed, pulling back the covers to “turn the pages.” In order to close the work [book], one must re-make the bed, mimicking the actions of women’s housework that have been done for centuries."


A Useful Domestic Exercise
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2007-2015. One-of-a-Kind.

17" x 14' x 20" vintage metal doll bed with wire mattress support. Hand and machine stitched bed coverings. Machine embroidered text.

Bed components:
Sham Pillow case: 6.5 " x 10"; antique linen napkin.
Sham Pillow: 6" x 8"; poly fiber fill; covered with vintage cotton sheeting; digital ink jet printed image*.
Bedspread: 26" x 30; vintage green and white grid patterned cotton curtain; white lace scallop trim.
Quilt Cover: 16 " x 25"; vintage cotton flower/checked patterned feed sack; vintage plastic buttons.
Quilt: 15" x 23.5"; vintage 100 lb. Vitality Brand feed sack bag; stuffed with cotton batting.
Sheet: 22.5 x 30.5"; vintage white cotton bed sheet with embroidered scalloped edge.
Bottom Sheet: 22.5" x 30.5"; vintage white cotton bed sheet.
Mattress: 3" x 14" x 20"; red and beige stripped cotton mattress ticking; stuffed with cotton batting; machine embroidered ants.

Tamar Stone: "A continuation of the telling of stories from women’s history and housework, through the voices of women from the 18 c. to contemporary homemakers.

"Advice ranges from the suggestion in creating an office, in order for the homemaker to have a specific place to conduct her 'Business of Housekeeping'; as well as the hygienic principles concerning types of bed and linen, how to deal with household pests, and exercise for the body."

Bibliographic resources -

· The American Frugal Housewife: dedicated to those who are not ashamed of economy, Lydia Maria Child, 1838
· American Woman’s Home Companion, Harriet and Catherine Beecher Stowe, 1869
· Confidential Chats with Girls, William Lee Howard, 1911
· Godey’s Lady’s Book, Vol 51, No2 August 1855
· Harper’s household handbook; a guide to easy ways of doing woman’s work, Martha McCulloch Williams, 1913
· Harriet Hubbard Ayer’s Book: A complete and authentic treatise on the laws of health and beauty, Harriet Hubbard Ayer, 1899
· Homemakers, the forgotten workers, Rae Andre, 1982
· Household Engineering; Scientific Management in the Home, Christine Frederick, 1928
· Our homes, and how to make them healthy, Robert Brudenell Carter, Edited by Shirley Forster Murphy, 1885
· Training the little home maker, by kitchengarden methods, Mabel Louise Keech, 1912
· The Ways of Women in their Physical, Moral and Intellectual Relations, by a Medical Man, 1873
· The Yorkshire Book of the Bed, Ian & Jill Brown Clayton, ed., 1991

*Pillow Image: New York Public Library/Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture/General Research and Reference Division: "A lesson in bed making in the housekeeping suite, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical College, Tallahassee, Fla" (1923).

A Useful Domestic Exercise book
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Corset Work

Tamar Stone: "After creating a few books in paper, I realized that I wanted the stories that I was telling to become more 3-D, not just text on paper but wanting the stories to become part of the textile. By embroidering the text into the fabric, the text is tactile and the viewer could become more intimately involved with the stories being told, as they would have to interact with the book - by untying the corset strings in order to read the text.

"Having to take the time to slow down to unlace all the ties, undo the buckles in order read all the text, is part of the contemplation and therapy of the process; echoing what women have been experiencing for a century of dressing and undressing.

"The text from a variety of sources from behavioral manuals of the 19th and 20th centuries, which describe prescriptions of public and private deportment, as well as personal narratives of modern women who have lived with these physical constraints."

Fiberarts Magazine, January/February 2006: "In addressing the confinement of wearing a corset, the books pay homage to these understructures, which have been used to both support and 'correct' women throughout history."


What Mothers Want
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2014-2019. One-of-a-Kind.

Housed in 12.75 x 11.5 x 2.75" cloth-covered clamshell box with embroidered title label on cover. Box interior covered with Bertini paper. Antique wood hand mirror mounted on inside cover. Outside corset cover of antique white scallop-trimmed bag with original hand embroidered "S" and flowers. Closure of four vintage plastic buttons. Purple trim sewn into interior of outside corset cover ending in double bow ties to hold corset books in place.

Book 1 "Features of Loveliness": Antique off-white waist-cincher corset with four front hooks, back corset lace, and new lavender ribbon trim; machine embroidered title text; inkjet printed images on both linings; cotton twill corset lining, with sheer cotton voile overlining. Interior of Book 1: "The Mother Interest" 6 pages with 2 covers; machine embroidery vintage linen covers with lace edge; attached with 3 vintage plastic buttons; interior pages inkjet printed images on vintage cotton bed sheets.

Book 2 "The Mother Intent": Antique off-white waist-cincher corset with lace edge, 4 front hooks and back corset lace. Interior corset linings inkjet printed images on both linings. Cotton sateen corset lining with sheer off-white silk georgette over-lining, attached with antique bone buttons. Interior book "Punctualities of Dress": 6 pages with 2 covers; machine embroidery on vintage linen covers with lace edge, attached with 3 vintage size 22 off-white "Boye Unbreakable Flexible" Buttons. Interior pages inkjet printed images on vintage cotton bed sheets.

Book 3 "Form the Figure": Antique doll corset with 5 holes, laced with vintage shoelace. Machine embroidered title text. Machine embroidered covers on vintage linen with inkjet printed images and hand embroidery. Attached with 3 antique mother of pearl metal buttons. Interior pages inkjet printed on vintage cotton bed sheets.

Tamar Stone: "This piece was inspired by found objects that happen to mirror each other—a postcard title 'An Inborn Habit' and an antique wood hand mirror. These images coincidentally reflect so much of women’s history, and how girls are brought up with preconceived ideas of womanhood.

"The corset book is comprised of three individual corsets, each with its own book inside. The titles of each corset, 'Features of Loveliness,' 'The Mother Intent,' and 'Form the Figure' were taken from advertisements for corsets found in early magazines 20th century magazines.

"The titles of the smaller interior books, "The Mother Interest,' 'Punctualities of Dress,' and 'An Inborn Habit' take the reader on a journey of a girl’s growth – from maternity corsets for the mother, supports for an infant, and corsets for young girlhood and beyond – promising to 'Train your daughters to a healthy and symmetrical body and mind' until … existence becomes a delight….'

"Information regarding a girls growing body, from babyhood to motherhood was passed down through publications such as 'Womanhood; Hints and Helps for Young Women' (1895 ), and 'Health – beauty – sexuality – from girlhood to womanhood...' (1904), in addition to the various advertisements extolling the virtues of various support garments for all ages.

"From the Greek mythologies to today’s episodes on the 'Lifetime Channel', mother-daughter relationships have been fraught with controversies. Although the mother was expected to pass down the rules of the day of deportment to her daughter, it was more complicated than that, as women were told,

… how complex the relation is between the mother and the daughter: for the mother, the daughter is both her double and another, the mother cherishes her and at the same time is hostile to her; she imposes her own destiny on her child: it is a way to proudly claim her own femininity and also to take revenge on it.

"As girls were growing and trying to figure out their place in the world, they were being informed that

[n]eatness in person, as in dress, is natural to a woman ... like all other habits, it becomes, in time, agreeable to the person who practices it, but the first training into it, is a painful struggle.

"Female Images throughout this piece include portraits of girls with their sisters and mothers, both informal, and formal. Little girls posing with dolls, mimicking future poses of the girl grown into a mother herself, as well as images taken from corset catalogues for children."



What Mothers Want book
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Caution & Counsel
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2012-2014. One-of-a-kind.

12 x 13 x 3" cloth-covered clamshell box with 3 garment books laid in. Inset on lid title label (4.5 x 4"), machine embroidered on inkjet printed cotton. Box interior covered with patterned Bertini paper. Books buttoned in corset (11 x 10" closed): antique off-white ribbed jersey child undershirt waist with 4 celluloid buttons for front closure, 7 celluloid buttons for attaching to stockings/pantaloons, embroidered text.
Book #1 "A Figure Educator" (6.5 x 7.5"): cover of antique white corded cotton sateen child vest with 3 plastic buttons for front closure and 10 hand sewn eyelet holes in back for cording lace. Interior pages "Girl of the Future" of cotton sateen fabric with inkjet printed images.
Book 2 "Charm of Form ... and Construction": cover (7.5 x 10") of antique off-white cotton Ideal child vest, size 0 child, with 4 celluloid buttons for front closure, 3 waist buttons for attaching to stockings/pantaloons. Interior pages "Youthful Ease of Person" (4.5 x 6.5") of vintage cotton bed sheets with inkjet printed images.
Book 3 "Grammar of Ornament" (8 x 10"): cover of antique off-white cotton jersey child vest with 3 plastic buttons for front closure. Interior pages (5.25 x 6.5") "Love of Display, Artistic Dress" of vintage cotton bed sheets with inkjet printed images.

Tamar Stone: "This piece is made up of 3 individual 'books' (each inside their own titled corset vest) instructing girls on their deportment as their lives are shaped by their corsets, and conflicting opinions.

"Volume 1, '
The Figure Educator' (the title based on the name of a corset for girls ages 10-13), instructs girls to 'Be Yielding and Pleasant' and to 'cultivate a love for physical perfections.' They are told that, 'It is thought which directs action, and our actions shape our bodies.'

"In the 2nd volume 'Charm of Form… and Construction' a young lady comments about her corset, 'I suffered sometimes perfect torture from my stays, especially after dinner, not that I ate heartily, for that I found impossible, even if we had been allowed to do so by our schoolmistress, who considered it unladylike...'

"The 3rd volume, 'Grammar of Ornament' shows girls with their sisters. All the images in this piece are more ornamental in their views, whether it is the details in the clothing, or props that are posed with the girls. The internal book titled, 'Love of Display Artistic Dress', instructs, 'The most artistic dress is worse than lost on a figure lacking poise. As no amount of ornament can atone for bad construction.'

"However, the girls are also being told, 'No, a girl cannot do without ornaments any more than a rose-bush can do without roses, or a column without a capital. It is every girl’s duty to look as well as she can, and to make as much beauty as she can.'

"The stories told in this piece are from Victorian magazine advice columns, historical books on manners and deportment, advertising text from corset trade publications, corset patents, and Abba Gould-Woolson’s Dress Reform lectures, who so boldly declared at the time, '…hasten the day when woman shall be more than her dress...'”

Tamar Stone, "My Background:: "My interest in body image and women's shapes has come from my history of spinal curvature (Scoliosis). During 1970's, from the ages of 13-18, I wore a brace 23 hours a day. In 1984 I again found myself again in a corset/brace but this time for a herniated disk. Throughout these years, I developed a sensitivity to 'correction' and the need to fit in."



Caution & Counsel book
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Caution & Counsel book


Tamar Stone Out of Print Title:  

Causes of Female Influence
Sensible Mothers. Beautiful Children.

By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2007. Series of 2, variant.

The second of two artists' books, each visually different because each uses a different vintage children's waist. Text machine-embroidered on vintage waists. This variant "uses an antique off-white cotton twill 'Ferris Good Sense' child corset waist with 5 bone front buttons, 7 buttons for attaching to stockings/pantaloons, and 2 metal side clips stamped 'Pat. Aug 27, 89.' Dimensions: height with shoulder straps 14"; width closed 12.5"; width opened 26". The interior vest is an antique white cotton 'Ideal, Size 2' child waist with 4 bone front buttons, 5 waist buttons for attaching to stockings/pantaloons, and 2 side tabs with small metal grommets. Dimensions: height with shoulder straps 9.5”; vest width closed 10.5”.

Cotton embroidered text. All vests lined with vintage cotton bed sheets and digital iris printed images. The texts are taken from various corset advertisements.

Book is fastened by 1" ivory grosgrain ribbon ties to the interior of a silk-lined custom-made cloth clamshell box with ivory cloth label on front panel machine-embroidered in pink cotton with author, title, and number. Dimensions: closed outside edge length 16"; closed outside edge width 14.25"; height 2.25".

Tamar Stone: "This is the second of two books in a series dealing with the issues of mothers, their daughters and the relationships between them. ... The lessons passed along in those relationships are echoed through the bonds that girls have with their sisters, and in this case, siblings that were corseted 'together.'

"Mothers were able to mold the expectations that young girls had while growing up. With self help books of the period in addition with strongly worded corset advertising, mothers were told that 'Every mother should know how essential these waists are to the correct physical development of her children.'

"Corset waists were named with the idea that they grow along with the girl, providing 'freedom in childhood' with names like 'Little Beginners Waists,' 'Kiddie-Work-A-Day Waists,' and the 'Junior Corset Waist,' among others. The text includes 19th- and 20th-century quotes from girls wearing these corsets as well as advertising text of the era."

Two variants: one in collection; one available.




Causes of Female Influence book
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Frontier Bed
"This is the end of a long and tedious journey"

By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

21 x 12 x 14" doll bed. Hand- and machine-stitched bed coverings. Machine embroidered text.

Bed components:
Antique collapsible wood doll bed with slatted wood mattress support.
Pillow Case: 5 x 7", vintage fringed linen napkin with covered wagon family laser transferred image.
Pillow: 4.5 x 6.5", vintage blue stripped cotton ticking, hand stuffed with vintage feathers.
Blanket: 24.75 x 25.5", rolled, vintage rose and beige plaid wool/cotton blanket with flower pattern.
Blanket: 21.5 x 17.75", vintage rose and beige plaid wool/cotton blanket with flower pattern.
Top Sheet: 25 x 19", vintage white cotton bed sheet with sewn folded edge.
Bottom Sheet: 26 x 19", vintage white cotton bed sheet.
Mattress: 20 x 12 x 1" Gold Metal Flour sack, vintage sack and pink floral pillow case ticking, stuffed with vintage feathers.
Mattress: 19 x 10.5" stripped ticking, hand tied vintage blue stripped cotton mattress ticking, stuffed with vintage feathers.

Frontier Bed records and represents the spirit of several generations of non-indigenous 19th-century women who moved west across the North American continent. The bed as symbol of the gamut of an individual life – the pain and joy of birth, the fear and thrill of conception, the agony and peace of death – serves well as a page and palette for the lives these stories represent.

The pages are a pillow, a pillow case, two blankets, top and bottom sheet, feather topper, and striped ticking mattress – all made from vintage materials (vintage used here to mean prior to 1960). The embroidered texts are excerpts from journal entries written by women who were making the journey across the American West in the 1800's. As the artist says, "In order to read these intimate stories the reader must unmake each bed, pulling back the covers to 'turn the pages.' In order to close the book, one must re-make the bed, mimicking the actions of women’s housework."

A subtle yet prevailing whiff of strength and survival pervades Frontier Bed. These women may have been alone, surely if they had time they were lonely, but each took time to write, to write something, to write something for someone, to write something for someone in the attempt – and almost certainly a hope – to connect. First, simple descriptions, basic sensory perceptions, of places and events and strangeness; eventually of death, inevitable, sad, but not final: the final excerpt includes advice for those who might follow. We passed, we saw, we did this and that, we died – but we will continue. Tomorrow and tomorrow may bring more beds to muss and remake, but it's a mussing and remaking that reveals the strength we have. This may be artistic license, but it seems appropriate to the spirit honored and remembered here.

Tamar Stone: "These are the stories of women who traveled across the country on the Overland Trail during the 1800‘s. They came from a variety of backgrounds, and each had their own reasons to be leaving home to start a new life out west. Included are stories of life and death, attacks (pestilence and Indian) ... and even, fashion. The fact that they would have the wherewithal at some point during the day, to write down their feelings and observations in letters and diaries, is an amazing feat, considering what could only be considered the constant day-to-day drudgery of trying to survive, and moving forward on the trail.

"I for one am so thankful that they had the strength to do so. They are truly an inspiration."

Top sheet, Nancy H., 1866-67:

"At night we placed our weapons of defense by the sides of our beds in our tents.
I claimed the ax for mine, and always saw that it was close to me,
but I never had an occasion to use it on an Indian."


Frontier Bed book
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Frontier Bed book
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H.T.W.E. ["... his thanks was enough ...]
(Civil War Cot)

By amar Stone
New York: Picturetown, Inc., 2010. One-of-a-Kind.

Doll-size folding cot with pillow in case, 2 blankets, 2 sheets, and duffle bag. Hand and machine stitched bed coverings. Machine embroidered text.

  • Duffle Bag (for US Military Tent Shelter/standard ground troop pup-tent): new and old stock, olive drab green, cotton sateen, with 2 used olive drab Swedish Military Surplus Straps and 4 metal buttons) 20" (W) x 27 1/2" (L – closed) or 35 1/2" (L – with flap opened)
  • Vintage folding army cot (either a doll or salesman's sample) 9 1/2" (W) x 24" (L) x 8" (H)
  • Pillow Case (vintage cotton off-white mattress cover with ink jet printed image) 7 1/2" (W) x 5 1/4" (L)
  • Pillow (vintage blue and white pillowcase ticking, cotton batting stuffing) 6 1/2" (W) x 4 1/2" (L)
  • Blanket rolled at end of bed (vintage brown wool blanket, lined with vintage tan cotton blanket, with 2 used olive drab Swedish Military Surplus Straps hand-sewn to blanket) 17" (W) x 24" (L)
  • Blanket (vintage green wool army blanket with moth holes) 20" (W) x 30" (L)
  • Top sheet (vintage white cotton bed sheet) 19 1/2" (W) x 27" (L)
  • Bottom sheet (vintage off-white cotton mattress cover, 8 machine-stitched button holes, 8 metal buttons attached with used olive drab Swedish Military Surplus strap pieces) 19 1/2” (W) x 29” (L).

Booklet with bibliography and text for each item (9 1.2 x 11"; 12 sheets). Pages in clear Mylar sheets. Includes statement by artist, images of each item, and CV of artist.

Tamar Stone: "With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861 both men and women volunteered to fight for the causes of slavery and states rights.

"This project began with my interest in Florence Nightingale and her hospital reform work during the Crimean War. What she accomplished would change the way nurses and the field of nursing would be considered from that point onward (both on the battle field and at home). Many women were inspired by her work and joined the war as volunteers – following their husbands and brothers into the battle fields. Others disguised themselves as men in order to partake in the action at the front lines.

"These stories include those told from the more well-known Louisa May Alcott (whose literary beginnings were formed with her hospital experiences written in her 1863 book, Hospital Sketches) to Sara Emma Edmonds, also known as the soldier 'Frank' during the war, among others. It is their bed oriented stories and experiences, that fill this folding army cot.

"The bag that that holds the bed and bedding is based on a design from early World War tent bags. The pie-chart design stitched on it is based on the coxcomb charts Florence Nightingale devised to explain health reforms needed, based on death statistics of the British army troops on the fields, during the Crimean War."

Text top side of Green Blanket:
"No woman under thirty need apply to serve in the government hospitals. All nurses are required to be plain looking women. Their dresses must be brown, or black, with no bows, no curls, no jewelry, and no hoop skirts." Dorothy D, c. 1860

Civil War Cot book
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Civil War Cot book







Health, Strength, Grace and Symmetry, Vol. II
Develop to the Highest Degree of Attainable Perfection
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2007. One-of-a-Kind.

Book bound in antique quilted doll corset: 6.5 x 5.5" closed, 11.5" open. Handsewn button holes with vintage cotton shoelace. Machine stitched cotton/poly embroidered title on back of corset.

Book: 4.25 x 4.5"; 20 pages. Double-sided accordion. Machine and hand stitched with cotton trim. Digital inkjet images / text printed on cotton twill fabric. Machine stitched flower image and text. Attached to interior of corset with four satin ribbons.

Housed in 8 x 7.25 x 1.75" clamshell box covered in patterned cotton twill fabric. Inkjet printed title label inset on front of box.

Tamar Stone: "This is the second part of two books in a series dealing with the history of women, exercise, and corsets. The first book, Health, Strength, Grace and Symmetry, Vol. 1: Muscular Symmetry and Fine Condition…for the more athletic more balanced woman…' involves advertisements and images in the mid-to-late 19th century.

"This project was built upon the images found in Bernard MacFadden’s 1901 book The Power and Beauty of Superb Womanhood. What starts out to be a book about women and health, showing various exercises for physical self-improvement, seem to shift gears (at least for whoever was expected to be reading this book) for the women became topless, although the exercises involved didn’t seem to involve that part of the body. This was extremely intriguing to me, since MacFadden was also the editor of a 1903 magazine I owned Beauty and Health, where some of the corset advertisements in this project came from as well as some of the other exercising images.

"With all the writings involving exercise, once society got past the debate whether or not women should be exercising at all (in fear that it would take away their strength needed to produce children), the underlying message seemed to say, that you will need to be in shape in order to ensure happiness ..."


Health, Strength, Grace and Symmetry, Vol. II book

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Mechanics of Beauty
By Tamar Stone
New York, New York: Tamar Stone, 2011-2012. One-of-a-Kind.

14.5 x 13" antique flannel child's corset vest with buttons. Machine stitched cotton embroidered text on front cover of vest and lining. Laid in 15 x 11 x 3" cloth-covered clamshell box with machine embroidered title label on vintage recycled cotton flannel. 1" loops bound in interior base for cover vest to be buttoned into.

7.5 x 6.5" book with 24 double sided pages of recycled vintage cotton flannel and sheer organza. Machine embroidered image and text. Binding hand-stitched with twill tape and sewn pages. Vintage metal watch gears sewn onto corners with metallic thread. Book attached with loops and antique buttons. Interior pages machine embroidered on vintage cotton flannel. Interior sheer pages inkjet printed images on silk organza fabric. Includes some hand embroidery with metallic thread. Other materials: vintage brass watch gears and springs.

Booklet with bibliography and text for each item (9 1.2 x 11"; 12 sheets). Pages in clear Mylar sheets. Includes statement by artist, images of each page, and CV of artist.

Tamar Stone: "My interest in how women are shaped is combined with my ongoing investigation of girls and women who walk, talk and 'motor' through history with the support – and hinderance of technology.

"When I came across the drawings of John Harvey Kellogg, I knew I wanted build a project around them. Most people know him as the inventor of corn flakes breakfast cereals but few are aware of his contributions to women’s medicine. He believed that the physiological difference between men and woman when it comes to 'deep respiration' was a pathological one. Women were unable to breathe naturally 'as men do' due to distorting influences of corset wearing and tight lacing.

"To prove this theory, he created a series of chalkboard drawings using a pneumograph and a recording cylinder. These devices were placed consecutively on the chest and abdomen, and with the act of respiration, the pneumograph would rise and fall, simultaneously. The movement was recorded by the registering cylinder.

"Kellogg continued his investigation into female organs that were damaged by corsets. He estimated that the movement of the uterus in ordinary breathing, moves up and down from .1 to .3 of an inch. By connecting an air-pessary (rubber and inflatable) to a tambour, he could show the influence of the corset upon the movements of the pelvic organs with the use of the recording cylinder. The movement of the pelvic organs was less when the corset was tightened than when it is loose, and deducted that if the pelvic organs were restricted, then muscular weakness and malnutrition will evolve in those pelvic organs.

"It is these factual chalkboard drawings, representing the movement of body organs restricted by corsets (and recorded by the pneumograph machine) that are embroidered onto the pages of this book. They are used to compare and contrast with other images of the corseted figured are juxtaposed with images of spines (corseted and uncorseted), corset vests for children as well as the drawings and text from historical mechanical talking and walking doll patents."







Mechanics of Beauty book
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Upholstered Cage
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2005. Series of 5 variants.

Cloth book with antique doll petticoat as exterior cover laid in cloth-covered clamshell box. Interior pages digital iris printed images on handcut vintage cotton bed sheets. Cotton embroidered text and trim. Hand sewn binding with buttons attached to skirt linings with loops. Petticoat cover with cotton embroidered text.

Tamar Stone: "Returning to my interest in instructional fabric books for children, I used antique doll petticoats as the cover of these books. The title comes from the ideas that woman were held physically and psychologically in their 'cage like' crinoline clothing as well as their social sphere – their homes.

"The Victorian home was often referred to the '
Upholstered Cage' (at least for those who could afford help with taking care of it) where the woman was 'queen' of all things occurring inside its walls (the care and feeding of the family etc.) while the domain outside of its walls (and out in society) was reserved for men.

"The images are of Victorian woman of all ages in their body–defining corsets. The text is from sales manuals for corset salesmen of the period as well as text from 20th century girdle and corset salesman pamphlets."





Upholstered Cage book
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To Ensure Grace for Her
By Tamar Stone
New York: Tamar Stone, 2007. Variant series of 2.

15 Interior pages. Images: digital iris printed on handcut vintage cotton bed sheets. Cotton embroidered text and trim. Handsewn bindings with antique bone buttons attached to vests linings with loops in interior vests.

Exterior cover: antique off-white ribbed cotton jersey, a children's vest "Pearl 2/3 Years", with 6 plastic buttons for front closure, 10 waist buttons for attaching to stockings/pantaloons. Dimensions: height with shoulder straps 11”; width closed 9”; width opened 19.5”.

Interior vest: antique white cotton quilted doll vest with 12 hand stitched lacing holes. Dimensions: height with shoulder straps 7”; width closed 7.5"; width opened 16".

Housed in blue cloth clamshell box. Interior lined with gray silk brocade. White label inset on front cover of box stitched with title in dark blue and artist in light blue.

Tamar Stone: "This is the first of two books in a series dealing with the issues of mothers, their daughters and the relationships between them ... Also explored are the lessons passed along in those relationships that are echoed through the bonds that girls have with their dolls. Mothers were able to control the expectations that young girls had while growing up, as their daughters were playing with their dolls, they were absorbing lessons while at the same time were being trained in the rules of appearance and household skills – such as sewing, baby care."




To Ensure Grace for Her book
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Page last update: 03.37.2022


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