Tamar Stone's Corset Books
One of New York artist Tamar Stone’s corset books is featured in the Sampling section of our January/February 2006 issue. In this web-exclusive online gallery, we share more of her books that not only focus on shaping and reshaping of women but reuse the garments that have done that work over the years.
Stone became interested in corrective garments in the 1970s, during her teenage years, when she was required to wear a brace for treatment of scoliosis (a lateral curvature of the spine). She was also required to wear a brace in 1984 to treat a herniated disk in her back. These experiences led Stone to explore feelings associated with what she saw as “correction” and “the need to fit in.” At first Stone’s books incorporated imagery of corsets along with other female imagery, and she used parts such as corset straps as fastening devices. As her exploration continued, she decided to focus more on the corsets and stories of the women who wore corsets. She began to use the corsets as the pages of her books, stitching them with text from historical behavior manuals and with personal narratives from contemporary women who wear braces.
In addressing the confinement of wearing a corset, the books pay homage to these understructures, which have been used to both support and “correct” women throughout history.
Click on the thumbnails to view larger images
Pink Corset Book (untitled), 2000; cotton corset altered into book format,
hand- and machine-stitched text; 16 1/2" x 36".
The Vital System, “Good Sense,” “Little Beauty,” 2000; cotton corset altered
into book format, lace, hand- and machine-stitched text; 4" x 27".
The Rational Corset Body, 2002; cotton corset, dress, and doll corset altered
into book format, hand- and machine-stitched text; 28" x 14 1/2".
...to make her look her best, 2002; cotton corset altered into book format, antique lace trim, bone buttons, plastic buttons, doll corset, hand- and machine-stitched text; 30" x 34".
Childhood Comfort, 2003; cotton ribbed jersey child’s vest altered into book format, cotton, antique lace, cotton lace, cotton twill tape, shoulder straps, metal lacing holes, hand- and machine-stitched text; 14" x 21".
What to Wear, Vol 1: The Cultured Waist..., 2004–2005; cotton bra altered into book format, lace salesman sample bra, printed images on fabric, hand- and machine-stitched dolls, satin ribbon, girdles, cotton corset trim, hand- and machine-stitched text; 13" x 28".
C is for Curvatures, 2005; elastic corseting material, stocking garters,
digital prints on vintage cotton, machine stitching, cotton embroidered text;
5 1/2" x 12 1/2".