Tiffany has a genius and persistence for reinvention, daily incorporating what the world gives her—whether life experience or physical material—into something a little more beautiful and consciously meaningful than what was there before. No amount of pain nor pigeon on the fire escape is spared her loving, creative gaze.
-Amy Belk, screenwriter, I Used To Be Darker
I love stuff. Beautiful stuff. I love to make it, and I love to have it. I’m fascinated by how and why it’s made, and what it means to its creators and users. I’ve made a career of taking care of other people’s beautiful stuff as a museum curator. I come from a line of photographers, painters, industrial designers, crafters and collectors–from rocks, clocks and coins to art deco furniture, vintage textiles and fashion magazines (lots of magazines). I’m the collagist of the family; I weave together used stuff–some keepsakes, some throwaways–to make new stuff that’s symbolic, meaningful, and at times, sentimental.
I love stories. I love to tell them, and I love to hear them. Especially other people’s stories, whether I read them in an enthralling memoir or in People magazine, watch them on the big screen, dance to them in a pop song, or listen to them over cocktails with friends. My life’s work has been studying the lives and recording the oral histories of influential figures in art and design. I share these stories in the classes I teach. Now I share my own.
I love New York. It’s all or nothing, take it or leave it. It’s home. The city’s energy can bolster me or crush me, and sometimes do both at the same time. It’s stripped me down to my essentials: be it cramped living quarters, or initiating massive life changes. But it has also generously bestowed the environment to live out my life as whomever I’ve needed or wanted to be–a creative, a mother, a girl who enjoys singing aloud to the best of the 80s music while grocery shopping at Westside Market.
I am an artist and professor at Parsons The New School for Design, where I teach textiles and fashion history in the School of Fashion. I’ve worked in world-renowned museums including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I’ve published on a variety of topics from the history of the bikini to New York City retailers.
In 2012, I completed The New School’s prestigious Summer Writers Colony in creative nonfiction, and since 2008, my oil paintings and collages have been exhibited in annual group shows at the A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn. I’m currently working on a book of personal history that combines my art with my love of storytelling; it’s an illustrated memoir about watching a pair of New York City pigeons build their family life as my own was falling apart.
I live in the West Village with my young son, two elderly cats, and various pigeon neighbors.
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