Dual-Location Show Spotlights Textile Artist

Shari Urquhart, who made the above piece, died in 2020.

Shari Urquhart’s intricately detailed hooked rugs, pillows and wall hangings have been coveted by collectors for years, but the late Kenosha-born artist’s (1940-2020) work is less widely known in fine art circles. A new exhibition aims to change that.

“Musn’t Touch: A Textile Retrospective,” is currently on view at two locations in town – the Portrait Society Gallery (Marshall Building, 207 E. Buffalo St., Suite 526) and The Warehouse (1635 W. St. Paul Ave.). And both are worth a visit.



The most eye-catching works in the show are Urquhart’s large pieces, tapestries as wide as 12 feet that depict narratives about the human condition. In one, a man and woman are having a discussion about a hunting or fishing trip, the story told through vignettes and humorous gestures.

“When you see how intricate the designs are, it’s astounding. She pushed the limits to get fiber recognized in the fine art world,” says Christine Anderson, who works for Guardian Fine Arts Services and helped coordinate The Warehouse part of the show.

Anderson hopes the show will introduce Uruqhart’s art to a wider audience. “I don’t think she got the recognition she deserved for this extraordinary work while she was living.”

“Musn’t Touch” runs through June 30. For more information, visit portraitsocietygallery.com or thewarehousemke.org.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s June issue.

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