Erica Warren, PhD
Erica and Kobayashi.jpg

Images courtesy the Art Institute of Chicago.

Art historian, curator, decorative art and design devotee, textilian.

Erica Warren is associate curator in the Department of Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her exhibition Weaving beyond the Bauhaus, which examines the impact of the Bauhaus weaving workshop on American art, will be on view in the Textile Galleries at the Art Institute until February 17, 2020. Previous exhibitions include Super/Natural: Textiles of the Andes, Music and Movement: Rhythm in Textile Design, Making Memories: Quilts as Souvenirs, and Modern Velvet: A Sense of Luxury in the Age of Industry. Her current projects include an exhibition and catalogue about the contemporary artist Bisa Butler and research on Dorothy Liebes, the American weaver, textile designer, and entrepreneur.

Prior to her appointment at the Art Institute, Erica was a curatorial fellow in the Department of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture and a research assistant in the Department of American Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. While in Philadelphia, she curated the exhibition The Main Dish.

She also has taught courses on the history of design and craft at Drexel University and at the Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She earned her PhD in art history from the University of Minnesota and also has participated in the Attingham Summer School.


Select publications and presentations:


Panelist for “In Conversation: The Bauhaus, 100 Years Later” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

“Lydia’s Textile Travels,” Object of the Day for New York Textile Month, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

“Making the Timeless: Anni Albers, Mesoamerican Sculpture, and the ‘Thing Itself’” for the exhibition catalogue In a Cloud, in a Wall, in a Chair: Six Modernists in Mexico at Midcentury (Yale University Press, 2019).

Coordinated and presented the workshop “Textiles Close Up: Andean Meets Anni in Chicago” for the Textile Society of America.

Chair for Nineteenth-Century Narratives: Questions of Identity and Representation session, Midwest Art History Society Conference, Cincinatti, Ohio.


Conference paper “Modern Designer-Craftswomen: Dorothy Liebes and Bonnie Cashin” for Costume Colloquium VI: Textiles in Fashion, Creativity in Context.

“Shine Bright, Like a Liebes,” Object of the Day for New York Textile Month, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Keynote address “Narrative and Practice: Historic Textiles and British Arts and Crafts Embroidery” for the Embroiderers’ Guild of America’s International Embroidery Conference, Chicago.

Chair for Mid Twentieth-Century Art session, Midwest Art History Society Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana.


Lecture “Fostering Artistic Enterprise: Hewnoaks Artist Colony” for the Textile Society of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Entries for The Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Design (London; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, 2016) including Aesthetic Movement, Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, Century Guild, Collinson and Lock, Cotswolds, Georgian, Georgian Revival, Glasgow Style, Guild of Handicraft, Hukin and Heath, Jeffrey and Co., Liberty and Co., Linthorpe Pottery, Morris and Co., Queen Anne Revival, Regency, and Sanderson and Sons.  


Conversation “Scandinavian Home Sense and Sensibilities” with Judith Gura at the Bard Graduate Center.


“Shipwreck and Metaphor: Examining US History through an English Transferware Pitcher,” Ceramics: Art and Perception 24.3 (September 2014): 104-107.


Essay “Japonisme and Scandinavia” for the catalogue accompanying the exhibition “The Orient Expressed” at the Mississippi Museum of Art (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011).