Gerhardt Knodel studied art, music and theater at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was introduced to the expressive possibilities of fabric. Subsequent graduate studies at California State University at Long Beach were directed toward the exploration of fabric as a medium for shaping and redefining living environments. The study of the aesthetic and psychological implications of cloth architecture resulted in a need for first hand experience, initiating his extensive travels throughout the world, including Europe, North Africa, Japan, China, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and especially India and Indonesia where he has experienced and studied living textile-based traditions. World travel has also contributed to his large historic textile collection, assembled to provide first-hand experiences with material culture of the past. In tandem with contemporary issues in the visual arts, they continually provoke new insights, they teach.