Untitled weaving by Eva Bernhardt / Eva Bernhardt in her studio
Throughout the ages the path of the weaver has been the path of true civilization… there where the loom is waiting, the night of savagery is over.
The quote is from the brochure for The Path of the Weaver, an exhibition mounted at the Brooks Memorial Art Gallery (as the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art was known at the time) in 1978. Among the individuals given a prize was Eva Bernhardt—it was just one of many awards she received. Mrs. Bernhardt studied under Henry Easterwood at the Memphis Academy of Arts (today Memphis College of Art) and went on to teach weaving at the college between 1972 and the early 80s. An accomplished artist, her work was exhibited at Arkansas Art Center, Mint Museum, Speed Museum, and the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and she won many prizes and awards. Like Easterwood, she worked in a variety of styles from abstract florals in bright colors to geometric shapes in more mute earth tones.
A native New Yorker, Mrs. Bernhardt lived in Memphis for many years as her husband Herman served as a physician at the Veteran’s Hospital. Before taking up weaving, she taught biology and, as part of the Women’s Army Corp, served as a tail gunner trainer during World War II.
The Brooks is deeply grateful to Mrs. Bernhardt who generously left a bequest specifically for the acquisition of works of art for the permanent collection.