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needleworker, Linden
Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2003)

Hungarian-born Clara Fodor (1920-2008) immigrated to America as a young woman, and she capped her long career as a quilter and embroiderer by producing a remarkable textile tribute to her adopted country. After living in New Jersey and Michigan, she moved to Linden, TN, in the 1970s, and eventually completed years of work on a set of 50 meticulously embroidered wall hangings, each dedicated to a different American state. Each was researched and designed with maps, historic details, scenes, and other colorful graphics. She later produced a number of other geographic tributes in the same style. In her prolific output, Fodor overcame poor eyesight that was nearly debilitating. She donated her state collection to the Tennessee State Museum, and her tribute to Perry County now hangs in a community center in Linden.

Governor’s Arts Award profile

More Information

  • Cogswell, Robert, “Clara Fodor, 1920-2008,” Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin 63, #1/2 (Spr-Fall 2007): 59; reprinted in Folk Art Messenger 20, #2 (Summer/Fall, 2008): 32.
  • Core, Jennifer. “Clara Haluska Fodor’s Wall Hangings: Appliqued, Embroidered, and Quilted,” Piecework 13, #6 (Nov-Dec 2005): 44-47.
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