Cynthia Schira

born Pittsfield, MA 1934
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, United States
Active in
  • Lawrence, Kansas, United States
  • American

Born in Providence, Cynthia Schira earned a B.FA. degree at the Rhode Island School of Design an an M.F.A. degree at the University of Kansas, where she has been on the faculty since 1976. Schira's textiles have been inspired by the landscape of the Kansas plains, as well as her training and experience in textile centers in France, China, India, and Japan, and her study of ancient Peruvian textiles.

Kenneth R. Trapp and Howard Risatti Skilled Work: American Craft in the Renwick Gallery (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998)

Artist Biography

Majoring in textile design, Cynthia Schira received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1956 and then attended the École d'Art Décoratif in Aubusson, France. In 1967 Schira earned her MFA at the University of Kansas. The recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Craftsman's Fellowships in 1974 and 1983, she had her first solo exhibition of textiles in 1978 at the Hadler Rodriguez Galleries in New York City. After teaching for several years at the University of Kansas, Schira was appointed a professor of design at the University of Kansas in 1986, a position she still holds. Schira resides in Lawrence, Kansas.

National Museum of American Art (CD-ROM) (New York and Washington D.C.: MacMillan Digital in cooperation with the National Museum of American Art, 1996)


Media - 2019.15 - SAAM-2019.15_1 - 137377
Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women
May 31, 2024January 5, 2025
The artists in Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women mastered and subverted the everyday materials of cotton, felt, and wool to create deeply personal artworks.