Famous Selection

from the Series: The Deceiver and The Deceived

Famous Selection is an early example combining subjects and materials used in my work since 1980 to the present. Constructed with recycled “tin” containers from consumer packaging and steel dollhouses. The pre-printed steel from tins has recognizable images from our material culture. What do these images say about our consumer society? The metal is deconstructed, cut, folded, and reassembled to contribute important content to my work.

Ever-present in my work is content influenced by consumerism and feminist content. The title “Famous Selection” is inspired by a brand of Danish butter cookies by the same name.  The tin container is used in one of the multiple frames and the intentional double entendré portrays women in a number of stereotypical roles. This wall piece is from the series, "The Deceiver and The Deceived" which utilizes a fan quilt pattern.  The arrangement of the women alludes to the strong connection between traditional crafts, “women’s work” and the home.  The fan quilt pattern also refers to the use of fans in western society gatherings as a device of flirtatious deception.  The relentless messages conveyed in media and advertising about a woman's appearance reveals an questionable aspect of our consumer culture.  Who is the deceiver and who is the deceived in our society when women are portrayed as “pure, alluring, refreshing, and delicious, good as homemade?”

Frame wall piece constructed from recycled materials specifically tin cans and vintage steel dollhouses, aluminum rivets

13.50" height   x   15" width   x   1.75" depth

Collection of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.


On permanent display at the Luce Foundation Center, Washington, D.C. since 2006. This is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This post on ASK Harriete shows this artwork on display.  When you go to the museum it is easy to get lost in the endless corridors. Ask for directions to get to the Luce Foundation Center. You will be glad you did. 




 © Harriete Estel Berman, 1996