Lillian Elliott

08 - Lillian Elliott, Untitled Wall Hanging

Lillian Elliott
American, 1930 - 1994

Untitled Wall Hanging
Woven mylar
Gift of Patrick Mather in memory of Dorothy Mather

Lillian Elliott was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1930. She earned degrees in art education from Wayne State University and painting from the Cranbrook Academy of Art. After working as a designer for the Ford Motor Company, Elliott, her husband and two children moved to California in the late 1950s where Elliot worked as a studio artist and an art instructor at a number of art and academic institutions in the San Francisco Bay area until her death in 1994.

Despite her training as a painter, Elliott was introduced to fiber arts when she was an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley. When she was asked to teach a weaving class, Elliott was terrified because she didn’t have much experience with the medium, but she found that incorporating colored fibers into weaving was a lot like painting.

In an effort to create works that were unique and visually engaging, later in her career, Elliot focused on form and shape as she began making baskets out of a variety of materials such as: paper, bark, twine, cloth and even zippers.