The Cobweb Club

The Cobweb club is a mixed media installation in homage to Margaret Jane Mussey Sweat's late 19th century woman's club of the same name. Sweat was a noted literary figure, world traveler and supporter of the arts. 

In keeping with the 19th century's fascination with the natural world and Sweat's own peculiar brand of whimsy, she devised the Cobweb Club's name and motto and presented her own natural history of spiders at one of the earliest meetings. Part of the purported goal of the club was to improve the reputation of spiders, which came to be revered as the Cobweb Club's "patron saint" and served as a metaphor for the women themselves. 

Sax presents 15 cast paper spiders, thirteen cast paper jaguars, a wall painting and a small model of Mrs. Sweat's parlor room in which all of these elements are imagined to have coexisted. The piece honors both the spirit of these women and the significance of their early feminist activities.