The Subversive Stitch
Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine
By Roszika Parker
Rozsika Parker's re-evaluation of the reciprocal relationship between women and embroidery has brought stitchery out from the private world of female domesticity into the fine arts, created a major breakthrough in art history and criticism, and fostered the emergence of today's dynamic and expanding crafts movements.
The Subversive Stitch is now available again with a new Introduction that brings the book up to date with the exploration of the stitched art of Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, as well as the work of new young female and male embroiderers.
Rozsika Parker uses household accounts, women's magazines, letters, novels and the works of art themselves to trace through history how the separation of the craft of embroidery from the fine arts came to be a major force in the marginalization of women's work. Beautifully illustrated, her book also discusses the contradictory nature of women's experience of embroidery: how it has inculcated female subservience while providing an immensely pleasurable source of creativity, forging links between women.
Rozsika Parker (1945-2010) published widely in Art History and Psychoanalysis. The Subversive Stitch: Embroidery and the Making of the Feminine first appeared in 1984. Torn in Two: The Experience of Maternal Ambivalence was published in 1995. She and Griselda Pollock together wrote Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology (1981) and edited Feminism: Art and the Women's Movement 1970-1985 (1987).
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019, softcover, 9 x 6 inches, 336 pages.