Another busy week in the textile world!
Tunic (Cushma), Wari culture, Southern Andes, alpaca wool, c800 AD, Courtesy: Paul Hughes Collection.
Friday sees the opening of a new exhibition at the Whitworth in Manchester, entitled Ancient Textiles from the Andes. This will run until 15 September 2019.
This is a rare opportunity to see ancient Andean textiles of this quality and size exhibited in the UK. Through a major loan from the collector Paul Hughes, alongside pieces from the Whitworth, textiles from c300BC to c1400AD are on display. HALI have several images of textiles which will be part of this exhibition here, which are sure to whet your appetite! For further details visit the website of the Whitworth.
Location The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER
Searching A Female Smuggler. Source: Harper’s, 1884, pg.45.
This Saturday Louise Shelley, director, Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center, George Mason University will give a presentation entitled The Dark Side of the Textile Trade. The title immediately made me think of the damage that textile production can do to the environment, people working for next to nothing to produce fast fashion etc. However when I read further I was fascinated to learn that Louise comes at this from quite a different angle, looking into the abuses of the textile trade for commercial and political gains by both criminals and states.
“Textiles have always been one of the most valued components of international trade. Both individuals and states have sought to profit from this trade in both illegal and immoral ways. The problem of counterfeit products we face today is not new; it was already an issue centuries ago, when British traders flooded the Venetian market with their products labelled “Made in Venice.” When cochineal was the most valuable product out of the New World, many pirates and traders sought to acquire cochineal and break the Spanish monopoly.” Textile Museum website.
Location: The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street, NW, Washington, District Of Columbia.
This event will start at 10:30 and is free with no reservations required. For more details go to the museum’s website.
By a strange coincidence the subject of fakes and copies is also tackled the following day by Vedat Karadag in his talk to the International Hajji Baba Society on the subject of Current methods for making fake and copies of antique rugs in Anatolia and Persia.
“Fakes of antique carpets are nothing new in the rug and textile business. But today’s version are technically so good that they can fool even top rug experts, famous collectors, textile professors and museum curators. How do the counterfeiters do it?” I’m sure this is a question we would all like the answer to! Vedat is a textile researcher who has been looking into this question for over 15 years, so this is bound to be a fascinating talk.
Location: Arlington County Public Library, Donnellan Auditorium (on the ground floor), 1015 N Quincy St
This event will take place at 15:00 and is also open to non-members. More details can be found on the IHBS website.
The Amuse Museum in Tokyo celebrates the 10th anniversary of its opening on Saturday with the exhibition Boro – Real Astonishment. On show will be the collection of Chuzaburo Tanaka who sought out these textiles, which are generally made of hemp, from the mid 1960s. The textiles will be hung among newly published photographs by Kyoichi Tsuzuki which should create an interesting contrast.
Location 2-34-4 Asakusa, Taito Ku, Tokyo, Japan 111-0032
For more information visit the website of the Amuse Museum.
Image credit: Woman’s robe (munisak) Central Asia, 1850–75, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, S2004.94
Finally this Sunday in California the Bowers Museum will be hosting a very special event dedicated to Central Asian ikat. The respected textile researcher Dr Richard Isaacson will present Silken Resistance: A Short History of Ikat.
“Central Asian ikats are among the most dramatic and spectacular hand-dyed and hand-woven textiles ever produced, enthralling both for the technique used to create them, and for their fabulous patterns and designs. They are not, however, the first or only ikats made in the world. Combining insights from archeological excavations, photo archives and museum collections, Dr. Richard Isaacson will trace the history of ikat from the 5th century to the present, concentrating on the height of production in 19th century Uzbekistan. Dr. Isaacson’s talk will incorporate rarely-seen French and Russian historical photographs of local people wearing ikat garments, providing a fascinating window into daily life and social class structure from the last third of the 19th century into the early 20th century in the Uzbek region, at the eastern edge of the Russian empire.” – Bowers Museum website.
I have attended (and given) many lectures which had a Show and Tell element at the end, giving attendees the opportunity to see actual textiles. However this event takes that to another level as Dr Isaacson’s talk will be followed by a show of over 40 antique ikat pieces on live models. This will obviously add a different dimension. These textiles are from the collection of Cheri Hunter – a doyenne of the textile world. Having seen some of these textiles when we were hosted by Cheri, I know that they are of an extremely high standard.
Location 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706
For more details and to book visit the website of the Bowers Museum.