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Tyranny of the Shoulds

1989 Pat Hickman Born: Fort Morgan, Colorado 1941 hog casings approx. 7 1/2 x 15 1/4 x 15 in. (19.1 x 38.8 x 38.1 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Theodore Cohen in memory of his mother and her sisters: Rose Melmon Cohen, Blanche Melmon, Mary Melmon Greenberg and Fanny Melmon Liberman © 1989, Patricia L. Hickman 1998.122.9 Not currently on view

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Tyranny of the Shoulds, like other pieces by Pat Hickman, expresses the artist's sense of the fragility of life. The dried hog casings shaped into a sculpture evoke rigor mortis, the stiffening of the body after death. At the same time, however, the material suggests a transformation from one kind of life to another. The title may well refer to our tendency to think of the things we "should" have done with and for the people we loved. The circling, interwoven strands of gut express tangled feelings of regret, but also suggest a circle of mutual support such as Hickman knew during her years spent working with other fiber artists in the Bay Area.


decorative arts

Crafts - Fiber

animal parts - gut

About Pat Hickman

Born: Fort Morgan, Colorado 1941

More works in the collection by
Pat Hickman