Clara Fodor

needleworker, Linden

Tennessee Folklife Heritage Award (2003)

Photo by Robert Cogswell


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 tediously 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.


To see Clara Fodor’s profile in the 2003 Governor’s Awards in the Arts program, click here.


For more information about Clara Fodor, go to:

Youtube addr for 2003 Gov Awd

For further reading, see:

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.