About the Claire McCardell Project

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 industry to this day.

In keeping with its 122-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 overlook Carroll Creek Linear Park, a world-class urban park in 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.



Watch this inspiring 8-minute video to learn more about Claire and why she deserves to be placed on a pedestal in her hometown. Much gratitude to professional iPhoneographer John M. Woody for donating weeks of his time to create this tribute.

Sculptor Sarah Hempel Irani created this  maquette, a scaled-down version of the full-sized statue.

The Campaign 

The club announced the project in 2019 and has begun a $250,000 fundraising campaign, with plans to unveil the sculpture in 2021. In the months leading up to the sculpture’s installation, the club is sponsoring several events designed to educate, inform, and raise the funds necessary to make this project a reality.


Enthusiastic Reception

Reponse has been overwhelmingly positive. The project has 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., and Ausherman Family Foundation and many contributions from private donors. The Frederick Art Club is committed to 100% participation through financial and volunteer support, and all work to date has been—and much will continue to be—done by members without charge. 


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.  Donate Today!

Contact Us 

For more information about the Claire McCardell Project please contact

project chairperson Linda Moran at lmoranmg@gmail.com or club president Marilyn Bagel at mbwriter2@gmail.com.

Funded, in part, by Ausherman Family Foundation


  • Facebook
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram