J. Morgan Puett

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J. Morgan Puett
Hahira, Georgia
Known forFashion design, fine art
Awards2016 Guggenheim fellow

J. Morgan Puett (born 1957, Hahira, Georgia) is an American fashion designer and interdisciplinary contemporary artist. Puett first became known for her fashion designs and later for her contemporary art practice incorporating fashion.


Puett was born in Hahira, Georgia in 1957.[1][2] Beekeeping was a family profession,[3] with three of her siblings becoming beekeepers.[4] She received her BFA in painting and sculpture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1981.[5] She received an MFA degree in sculpture and experimental filmmaking from the same school in 1985.[6]

Creative career[edit]

Puett is a trans-disciplinary creative producer in the areas of installation art practices,[7] clothing design,[8][9] architecture, photography,[10][11] and fine art.[11]

Art practice[edit]

Her work uses conceptual tools including research-based methods in history, biology, new economies, design, craft and collaboration. Morgan's early work forged new territory by intervening into the fashion system with a series of storefront installations and clothing/dwelling/event projects in Manhattan, New York in the 1980s and 90s,[12] then produced a long series of research installations on the histories of the needle trade systems in museums and festivals around the world.[13] her practice has been innovative in that it has encouraged new forms of social engagement in art.[2][14]

Fashion Work[edit]

Between 1985 and 1997,[15] Puett was known for her "upscale depression era"[16] fashion designs, sold through her New York boutique.[8][17][18] When her final store closed in 1997, she held an exhibition of the leftover business items, such as cheques, business cards and unsold clothes, dipped in beeswax.[19][20][21]

The RN Patch[edit]

In the early 2000s, the American Association of Nurses and the Center for Nurse Advocacy sought a means to better identify registered nurses in busy medical environments,[22] in order to reduce confusion and help patients and others identify nurses quickly. In 2003, as part of the exhibition RN: The Past, Present, and Future of the Nurses' Uniform at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia.[23][24] Pruett collaborated with Mark Dion to create a patch for registered nurses to wear on their uniforms. The patch, a simple square with the letters "RN", could be put on any scrubs and was considered a "simple, elegant solution".[22]

Mildred’s Lane Project[edit]

With Mark Dion, she is a founder of The Mildred's Lane Project, an experimental artist's residency program. Karen Archey, writing in Art in America, described Mildred's Lane as an "ongoing experiment in pedagogy, a social space, a site for artistic and architectural intervention, a residency program, and home to Puett..."[25] Located on a 96-acre farm in rural Berlin Township Pennsylvania, the residency focuses on social and political practice in the arts.[15][26][27]


Puett has been awarded the John and Marva Warnock award 2014, the United States Artists Simon Fellow Award 2011,[28] the Smithsonian Institution Artist Research Fellowship 2009,[29] and the Anonymous Was A Woman Award and the PEI in Philadelphia award, both in 2005. In 2016 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship.[30]


Puett exhibits, lectures and teaches extensively in venues that include MoMA, New York (2012–13);[31] Musashimo Art University, Tokyo (2012); Contemporary Art Center, Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia (2012); Creative Time, NYC (2011); Queens Museum of Art, NYC (2010);[32][33] MoMA, NYC (2010); The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2008); University of Venice, Italy (2005); American Fine Arts Co., NYC (2004); ARTEX, Arnheim, Netherlands (2004); WaveHill, Bronx, NYC; The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia (2003-4);[34] Mass MoCA, Ma. (2004); Spoleto, USA, Charleston, SC, (2002); The Serpentine Gallery & Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2001).[1]


Puett's work is in the Tate Modern in London,[11] The Fabric Workshop and Museum of Philadelphia[35] and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.[36] Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian Institution.[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Give and Take: One Exhibition Two Sites. Serpentine Gallery. 1 January 2001.
  2. ^ a b Nato Thompson; Gregory Sholette; Joseph Thompson; Arjen Noordeman; Nicholas Mirzoeff (2004). The interventionists: users' manual for the creative disruption of everyday life. MASS MoCA.
  3. ^ "The Speculative Archive: Addendum: As Though There Is Nothing Else on the Drawing Board". Art Journal. 63 (1): 46–57. Spring 2004.
  4. ^ "CALENDAR". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  5. ^ Young Chicago. Yale University Press. January 2007. ISBN 978-0-300-12067-7.
  6. ^ Janine A. Mileaf; Barbara Ann Baumgartner; Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum (30 June 2004). Inside out loud: visualizing women's health in contemporary art. Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University. ISBN 978-0-936316-18-5.
  7. ^ Art Now Gallery Guide: National & international. Art Now, Incorporated. May 2005.
  8. ^ a b New York Media, LLC (7 January 1991). New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. pp. 15–. ISSN 0028-7369.
  9. ^ The Arts in America: New Directions. DIANE Publishing. pp. 50–. ISBN 978-1-4289-6694-9.
  10. ^ Mark Dion; Alex Coles (1999). Mark Dion: Archaeology. Black Dog. ISBN 978-1-901033-91-5.
  11. ^ a b c "J. Morgan Puett born 1957". The Tate Museum. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  12. ^ Giuliana Bruno (2002). Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film. Verso. pp. 270–. ISBN 978-1-85984-802-9.
  13. ^ Cher Krause Knight (29 August 2016). A Companion to Public Art. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 262–. ISBN 978-1-118-47532-4.
  14. ^ David Elliott; Marissa Silverman; Wayne Bowman (2 September 2016). Artistic Citizenship: Artistry, Social Responsibility, and Ethical Praxis. Oxford University Press. pp. 575–. ISBN 978-0-19-063281-6.
  15. ^ a b Gordon, Alastair. "In Her Own World". New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  16. ^ Artforum International. Artforum International Magazine. 1995.
  17. ^ Meg Castaldo (1996). Shop NY Downtownstyle. City & Company. ISBN 978-1-885492-32-6.
  18. ^ Steven W. Kroeter (2003). Design New York 2004: the what where when reference guide to architecture, fashion, graphic design, interior design, and product design in New York city. Design Paradigm. ISBN 978-0-9640304-3-5.
  19. ^ "J. Morgan Puett, Wholesale: To The Trade Only, 1985-1997". Artcat. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  20. ^ Young, Lucie. "J Morgan Puett: Eccentric circles". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  21. ^ The New Yorker. F-R Publishing Corporation. 2006.
  22. ^ a b Judd, Deborah M. (2010). A History of American Nursing: Trends and Eras (6 Feb 2017 ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers Ltd. p. 215. ISBN 9781449618070.
  23. ^ Sandra B. Lewenson; Marie Truglio-Londrigan (2008). Decision-Making in Nursing: Thoughtful Approaches for Practice. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. pp. 124–. ISBN 978-0-7637-4435-9.
  24. ^ Sandy Summers; Harry Jacobs Summers (17 September 2014). Saving Lives: Why the Media's Portrayal of Nursing Puts Us All at Risk. Oxford University Press. pp. 344–. ISBN 978-0-19-933708-8.
  25. ^ Archey, Karen. "The Road to Somewhere". Art in America. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  26. ^ Nato Thompson (2012). Living as Form: Socially Engaged Art from 1991-2011. MIT Press. pp. 146–. ISBN 978-0-262-01734-3.
  27. ^ Jenni Sorkin (26 July 2016). Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community. University of Chicago Press. pp. 247–. ISBN 978-0-226-30311-6.
  28. ^ Walter, Alexander. "5 Architects & Designers among USA Fellows for 2011". Archinect. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  29. ^ "Smithsonian Awards Fellowships to 10 Artists to Conduct Research at Museums and Research Facilities". Smithsonian. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  30. ^ "J. Morgan Puett". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  31. ^ Churchill, Abbye. "Cultivated: Hive Minded". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  32. ^ "Larissa Harris". ArtForum. Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  33. ^ Johnson, Ken. "'The Curse of Bigness'". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  34. ^ Umbrella. Umbrella Associates. 2003.
  35. ^ "Selections from the Permanent Collection II". The Fabric Workshop and Museum. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  36. ^ "Man's Ensemble: Vest, Trousers, Shirt, and Suspenders". Philadelphia Museum of Art. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  37. ^ "Mr. Zivic, 1986". Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Retrieved 6 February 2017.

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