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The Frederick Art Club is proud to drive a significant public art endeavor to honor fashion designer and Frederick, Maryland, native Claire McCardell (1905-1958). Credited with inventing American sportswear, McCardell created innovative fashions that have uniquely defined decades of American fashion. Her design perspective continues to influence the fashion to this day.

In keeping with its 123-year mission to generate appreciation of the value and beauty of art in the broader community, the club has elected to undertake this important public art project to:

  • Pay tribute to a Frederick, Maryland native who won international acclaim

  • Commemorate a woman who became an icon in an arts profession  

  • Expand public recognition of exceptional women


Woman on a Pedestal 

The Claire McCardell Project is the creation of a larger-than-life bronze statue that will pay homage to the designer here in her hometown. The sculpture will be sited in Carroll Creek Linear Park, a world-class urban park that threads through downtown Frederick, Maryland. An accompanying wayside exhibit will tell the story of Claire’s extraordinary career. Through this project, The Frederick Art Club joins a national trend to “break the bronze ceiling” by putting monumental women on a pedestal. Meet the artists.

Enthusiastic Reception 

The club officially launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign in fall 2019. Leading up to the statue installation in 2021, the club is sponsoring events designed to educate, inform, and raise the funds necessary to make the project a reality. 

Response has been overwhelmingly positive. Within just a few months, the project garnered endorsements and financial support from prominent business, public sector, government, and educational leaders. Among these are Frederick City’s mayor and its planning/zoning and parks divisions, our county executive, Heritage Frederick, Hood College, the Public Art Commission, and the Tourism Council. The project has received significant grants from Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., Ausherman Family Foundation, and Celebrate Frederick's Holiday House Tour, along with many contributions from private donors. 


The Claire McCardell Project is a fund of the Community Foundation of Frederick County, making all gifts tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.  


Sculptor Sarah Hempel Irani created this maquette or small-size version of

the statue, which in its final form will

exceed 7 feet in height.

The Claire McCardell Project Video
Watch this 8-minute film about Claire and the project to honor her.

Funded in part by