hagley museum

Sharon Silverman’s `Portal Fiber’ graced the Centennial gates of Hagley Museum in celebration of a summer focus on Hagley’s hooked rug collection. The juxtaposition of contemporary fiber art on the historic powder yard gates provided a whimsical welcome for museum visitors and started a dialog about handwork crafts.
— Jill MacKenzie, Director of Audience Engagement, Hagley Museum and Library

hagley museum installation "portal fiber"

I designed “Portal Fiber” to accompany the centerpiece of Hagley Museum’s “Unraveling Stories” exhibit, a 10’ x 12’ nylon hooked rug that depicts life in the Brandywine Valley. I wanted to create something colorful and inviting that connected with the history Nancy du Pont Reynolds Cooch depicted in her incredible piece. Hagley’s entrance gates and brick pillars welcomed visitors with elements that are significant to the du Pont family and the site, including fleur-de-lis, cattails, lilies, an eagle, daffodils, morning glories, and peach blossoms (Delaware’s state flower). The Museum’s handwork volunteers were indispensable partners.


Wilmington News Journal/Delaware Online – ‘Yarn bombing’ colors Hagley Museum’s gates

Chadds Ford Live – At Hagley Museum, explosion of color, history

Greenville and Hockessin Life – Fibers in the spotlight at Hagley Museum

Hagley Magazine – A day for fantastic fibers

Crochet Concupiscence – Crochet art yarnbomb

County Lines Magazine – Of rugs and yarnbombs

delaware museum of natural history

This project was an artistic, imaginative way to excite our visitors about nature. Everyone loved the 40-foot-long Yarnboa hanging from the ceiling in the atrium andthe yarnbombs decorating the sculptures outside. Public enthusiasm was so high that we extended the installation for several months. Sharon is a true professional: her creativity, organization, attention to detail, and communications skills made this collaboration a pleasure from start to finish.
— Halsey Spruance, Executive Director, Delaware Museum of Natural History
We greatly appreciate your gift to Friends Association of the beautiful hand-crocheted blankets. They are so warm and cozy. We are also honored that you chose to repurpose these materials from `Yarnboa’ to benefit the families we serve.
— Marie S. Paxson, Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children

Delaware Museum of Natural History indoor/outdoor yarn installation

Yarnboa delawarensis slithered into place as a colorful accompaniment to the Museum’s Titanoboa exhibit. Approximately 9,000 yards of yarn, including a box donated by Plymouth Yarn Company, went into the 40-foot-long reptile. That’s five miles of yarn! Some of the segments were made by volunteers all over the country, based on a pattern I provided. Yarnboa was stuffed with recycled plastic bags and newspapers; after the exhibit, the yarn segments were reconfigured into blankets and donated to the Friends Association for Care & Protection of Children in West Chester, PA.   

Outdoors, the Museum’s statues and signage were also decorated with yarn. Multi-colored motifs blanketed the tortoise to create “Shell Game.” The grizzly bear sported a web of snowflakes to turn him into “Polar Bear, ” while a fawn sported a Tunisian crochet coat in “Flawnt.” I also made fanciful leg-warmers for two of the Museum’s signs


Delaware Museum of Natural History Facebook page – Museum Week inspiration

Chadds Ford Live – Museum to host fiber arts presentation

Chadds Ford Live – Museum’s yarnbomb explodes with pizzazz

Plymouth Yarn blog – We love Yarnboa!

Delaware Online – Delaware Natural History Museum gets bombed – by yarn

Crochetville – Some crocheted artwork

Knitting and Crochet – Sharon Silverman discusses Tunisian crochet, books and more