SMOOTH: Mangle Boards of Northern Europe & Contemporary Concepts


Apr 21, 2017 to Jul 22, 2017
10:00 AM until 05:00 PM

This event occurs daily, every 1 day(s).


Join us in the Gerry Lenfest Gallery for an exhibition of mangle boards, highly-ornamented planks of wood used to smooth wrinkles from linen in the 16th to 19th century. The thirty-seven mangle boards on loan illuminate the work of many hands. In every board, those hands express a part of themselves and the lives of these common people as individuals.

Guest curator Jay Raymond studied four private and eighteen museum collections, in total more than 7,000 mangle boards, and authored a massive reference, Mangle Boards of Northern Europe (2015).

The Center gratefully acknowledges the following lenders of historic mangle boards: Marty and Buck Carson, Jacqueline Lind, and the American Swedish Historical Museum.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the Center invited twelve artists to produce new mangle boards. The project elicited a range of responses—from works that reflected the traditional motifs seen in this art form, to meditations on women’s work and the current political upheaval.

PARTICIPATING ARTISTS: Melissa Engler & Graeme Priddle | Ashley Eriksmoen | Amy Forsyth | Michael Hosaluk | Katie Hudnall | Beth Ireland | Hilary Pfeifer | Merryll Saylan | Michael Scarborough | Betty Scarpino | Kimberly Winkle  


First Fridays: May 5, June 2, July 7, 2017 | 5 – 8 p.m. at the Center

Gallery talks

April 22, 2017: 2-4 p.m. with curator Jay Raymond and artists Amy Forsyth and Michael Scarsborough | 4-6 p.m. reception

June 6, 2017: 6-8 p.m. with Jay Raymond and artist Beth Ireland at the Center

For questions about our events and to RSVP please contact Katie Sorenson at

Exhibitions at the Center are generously supported by the Cambium Circle members of The Center for Art in Wood, The Bresler Family Foundation, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and Windgate Charitable Foundation. Corporate support is provided by Boomerang, Inc., Penn State Industries and Signarama Center City.


Untitled, Germany, n.d. Collection of Marty and Buck Carson, Photo by James B. Abbott and Jay Texter




View map The Center for Art in Wood
141 N 3rd Street
Philadelphia, PA

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