Judith Scott was born in Columbus, Ohio and lived most of her life institutionalized at the Columbus State School due to her Down syndrome and deafness. Scott was born with a twin sister Joyce, who began her school at the age of five, at the same time when Judith was sent away because of her disabilities. The isolated life in a state institution ended for Scott in 1985 when her twin sister became her guardian. In 1987, Scott was introduced to Creative Growth, a visionary arts center where she found her creativity and started to create art at the age forty-three.
Scott became interested in fibre art and her enigmatic sculptures quickly became a source of communication, after having been verbally isolated for most of her life. Scott created nearly 100 sculptures during her time at Creative Growth. She wrapped abstract shaped sculptures using found fibre materials: yarn, twine and strips of fabric. Her abstract works have been compared to nests and cocoons, the wrapping suggesting both protection and concealment. The titles of her works Poupée, Papillon, Animal or Maison indicate a close connection to the environment, both domestic and natural, of the artist.
Scott became the first ever artist with Down Syndrome to be featured in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Scott’s work has been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum in New York in a retrospective exhibition and is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Smithsonian in Washington DC, among many others.