I fully expected in this blog to be waxing lyrical about the kimono exhibition at the V & A, the chintz exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum, and the talk on batiks which Maria Wronska-Friend was scheduled to give to the OATG last night. However these are not normal times. Many of us are experiencing lockdowns and as such perhaps have more time to read, watch documentaries and improve our knowledge. To this end here are some suggestions on textile-related sites.
I spent quite a lot of time enjoying this blog from the British Museum, which explains several different ways of exploring the museum from the comfort of your own home. I was amazed to discover that you can visit the museum using Google Street View. It took a while for me to get used to the controls, but the level of detail is incredible and in many instances you can read the panels of text by the displays. You can also explore the different galleries for example this is the link to the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world.
A helmet made from basketry and feathers from the Hawai’ian Islands.
This may have been collected by Cook during his third voyage in 1776-1780. ©British Museum
Another website with some fascinating online exhibitions is the Kyoto Costume Institute. I particularly enjoyed this one entitled Japonism in Fashion which examines the profound effect of the kimono on fashion.
This type of garment was exported from Japan to the West. ©Kyoto Costume Institute
Moving from Japan to China, this short video presented by Sophie Makariou (President of the Musée Guimet) showcases a stunning semi-formal Imperial dragon robe from their collection. It belonged to the Emperor Jiaqing (1796-1820) and had slits in the front, back, and sides so that it could be worn while horseriding. This robe is generally kept in storage and is only displayed occasionally so this is a wonderful opportunity to see it close-up.
The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum have recently launched their free digital catalogue for the Woven Interiors:Furnishing Early Medieval Egypt exhibition. This beautifully illustrated 134 page full colour catalogue was co-authored by Gudrun Bühl, Sumru Belger Krody and Elizabeth Dospěl Williams. The authors look at how these textiles from the early medieval period were used in a variety of settings, describing how they “served as cozy bed cloths, they enlivened bare walls and colonnades with shocking color, they cushioned hard surfaces and veiled sacred spaces”.
Textile fragment with head and duck, early 5th century. © Dumbarton Oaks, Byzantine Collection
Finally this short article by Ruth Clifford for The Textile Atlas raised some important questions about the relationship between weavers and designers of Kota Doria saris in the Rajasthan area of India..
Kota Doria saris. © Ruth Clifford
Hope you enjoy browsing through these websites and may your isolation keep you safe!