Mbassy Unlimited # 006  has been organized in cooperation with the American Embassy in The Hague. 


His Excellency Timothy Broas, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands, opened MBU’s edition # 006  with American-Dutch artist Annet Couwenberg at his residence in The Hague on October 20th.  






Annet Couwenberg is a Dutch artist based in the USA where she is a 2014 Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow at the National Museum of Natural History studying the relationship between the bone structures and the outer membranes of fish. Working with scientists, Annet is using imaging technology, x-rays and microscopic photography to deepen her knowledge of the transformation of the structural and physiological adaptation of fishes. The fish anatomy is a natural analogue to her work as a textile artist in which she develops dynamic 3 D forms from pliable planes in reference to the Dutch ruffled collar. 


Annet’s work is currently part of the ART in Embassies Exhibition.


Established in 1963, the U.S. Department of State’s office of ART in Embassies (AIE) plays a vital role in the nations’ public diplomacy through a culturally expansive mission, creating temporary and permanent exhibitions, artist programming, and publications. The Museum of Modern Art first envisioned this global visual  arts program a decade earlier. In the early 1960s, President John F. Kennedy formalised it, naming the program’s first director. Now with over 200 venues, AIE curates temporary and permanent exhibitions, for the representational spaces of all U.S. chanceries, consulates, and chief-of-mission residencies worldwide, selecting and commissioning contemporary art from the U.S. and the host countries. These exhibitions provide international audiences with a sense of the quality, scope, and diversity of both countries’ art and culture, establishing AIE’s presence in more countries than any other U.S. foundation or arts organisation.  [from the exhibitions’s program folder]






After introducing her sculptural works and social practice, she focused mainly on the her current research project at the Smithsonian Institute at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington where she is a 2014 Smithsonian Research Fellow,  studying the relationship between the bone structures and the outer membranes of fish.








A colourful international crowd of art lovers and admirers of Annet’s work showed up for this special event, exchanging ideas and information.







Annet Couwenberg received a Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and a Master of Fine Arts degree in textile arts from Syracuse University, Syracuse (New York), both in the United States. Couwenberg served as the Fiber Department Chair at the Maryland Institute College of Art (Baltimore) from 1989 until 2008, when she stepped down to spearhead the development of Smart Textiles.





Annet Couwenberg with his Excellency Timothy Broas, U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands.


All photographs above: Rei Kakiuchi


Image on landing page:


Annet Couwenberg, Puff #2, 2014, laser cut buckram, wood, origami, 10 x 18 x 15 in.

For a full image click on the document button on top of this page.

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