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Kerry James Marshall, Luxury Cashmere Scarf (Fundraiser for Artist In Residence Studio), 2018. Courtesy of Rennie Collection.

Artist-Designed Scarves

From Pablo Picasso to Kerry James Marshall, a wide range of artists have designed scarves, which can be worn as accessories or framed on the wall as art. The trend of artist-designed scarves began when the Czech textile manufacturer Zika Ascher moved to Paris in 1946 and convinced the city’s top artistic talents (Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Henry Moore, among them) to collaborate on limited edition scarves. These silk accessories, known as Ascher Squares, have since reached impressive sums at auction. Matisse’s Ascher Square Océanie, La Mer (1946–47) became the most expensive scarf ever sold when it reached $4.8 million at a Christie’s auction in 2011. More recently, artist-designed scarves have become a staple in museum gift shops and nonprofit fundraisers, with leading contemporary artists such as Marina Abramović, John Baldessari, and Jonas Wood all releasing their own wearable silk and wool creations.

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