Shirley E. Held

Honored by:Kirsten Held
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Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Held of Hinton Iowa and their children Kevin (ISU College of Ag 1977) and Kirsten (ISU College of Ag 1980) pay tribute to Shirley Elaine Held Professor Emerita Department of Art and Design College of Design Iowa State University.

Shirley Held was born on August 21, 1923 at Hinton, Iowa to Albert Herbert Held and Neva Lucille Royer Held and grew up in Hinton on the family farm. Following graduation from Hinton High School she went to Iowa State College where she earned a B.S. degree (1945) in Home Economics Education. She then taught homemaking in Lake City, Iowa LeMars, Iowa and Humboldt, Iowa before entering graduate school at Iowa State College in 1951.

After earning her M.S. degree in Home Economics - Applied Art from Iowa State College in 1952 Shirley was an Assistant Professor of Textiles and Related Arts at Utah State College (Logan Utah) for a year before returning to Iowa State College. Shirley held a 100% teaching appointment at Iowa State from 1953 to her retirement in 1990. She was appointed as Assistant Professor in 1953 promoted to Associate Professor in 1963 elected to Associate Member of Graduate Faculty in 1966 and promoted to Full Professor in 1975. Professor Held was awarded a Faculty Citation in 1979. Ms. Held is widely known and respected for her weaving accomplishments. She authored the book Weaving: Handbook for the Fiber Craftsman (the name was changed to Weaving: Handbook of the Fiber Crafts for the 2nd edition). She is currently working on the 3rd edition of this book. Shirley has also had magazine articles published inShuttle Spindle & Dyepot Handweaver and Craftsman and Contemporary Craft Art in the World.

From 1975-1980 Shirley served as a consultant for Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot. An impressive list of achievements includes pieces accepted in over thirty national regional and state juried exhibitions and competitions with many of the entries receiving awards. Shirley has had numerous entries over the years in both the Iowa Crafts and the Iowa Artists' Annual competition. She has also had pieces in over twenty local state and regional invitational exhibifions. Her list of commissioned weavings numbers over a dozen.

In addition to her 37 years of working with students at Iowa State and her innovative work in fiber arts Ms. Held has advanced the field of weaving by leading workshops presenting lectures and serving as a judge for exhibits. She has conducted research on dyes from native Iowa flora tree blossoms as a source of material for natural dyes and solvents for producing dyes from wood chips. Since her retirement Shirley has continued to develop new weaving techniques. Her leadership in the field has included serving as President of Ames Weavers and a member of the national scholarship committee for the Handweavers' Guild of America as well as membership in the American Crafts Council Midwest Weavers and the Iowa Federation of Handweavers and Spinners.

Music activities have also been important to Shirley. She is a long-time member of the Ames Choral Society as well as the Chancel Choir of Collegiate United Methodist Church. Genealogical activities have rounded out her busy schedule and we are grateful for the time and energy Shirley has invested in researching our family history. Submitted with love and respect The Eugene Held family