Event: Tour of the Exhibition ‘Embroidered Bodies – Garments, Stitches and Stories from the Ashmolean Museum’ with Curator Aimée Payton

Event date: Saturday 15 July 2017

Clothing tells a multitude of human stories, each embroidered stitch contributing to the tale. The exhibition introduces the Ashmolean’s diverse textile collections through a selection of exquisitely crafted garments, expressing themes of personal identity, local tradition and international trade.

The exhibition, curated by the OATG’s chairperson, Aimée Payton, includes a selection of garments drawn from the Eastern and Western textile collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Objects on view include a diverse range of garments from hats to shoes, stomachers to collars, dating from as far back as the 1400s right up to the twentieth century.

Location: Broadway Museum & Art Gallery, Tudor House, 65 High Street, Broadway, WR12 7DP.

Time: Meet at 2.30 pm for a 3 pm start.

Cost: Discounted entrance fee £4.

Please bring the money in cash on the day so that we can collect the entrance fee before entering the museum together as a group! We will meet in front of the main entrance.

Advanced registration is essential. Please book your place on the Eventbrite page.

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Exhibition: Embroidered Bodies – Garments, Stitches and Stories from the Ashmolean Museum

Exhibition dates: 5 May – 10 September 2017

Clothing tells a multitude of human stories, with each embroidered stitch contributing to the tale. This exhibition introduces the Ashmolean’s diverse textile collections through a selection of exquisite, crafted garments, expressing themes of personal identity, local tradition and international trade.

The exhibition, curated by the OATG’s own chairperson, Aimée Payton, includes a selection of garments drawn from the Eastern and Western textile collections of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Objects on view include a diverse range of garments from hats to shoes, stomachers to collars, dating from as far back as the 1400s right up to the twentieth century.

The OATG is organising two events in connection with this exhibition: one on Tuesday 13 June 2.45 pm at the Ashmolean Museum, and another on Saturday 15 July at 2.30 pm at the Broadway Museum (see the OATG events programme here).

For more information, visit the website of the Broadway Museum, Broadway, near Evesham, UK.

Event: The Textile Society’s Antique and Vintage Textile Fair, Manchester

 

Event date: 30 April 2017, 10am  4:30pm

The Textile Society’s perennial spring fair is a firm favourite for enthusiasts interested in buying antique and vintage costumes and textiles to collect, wear or discover. The selection is vast, with 130 stands selling oriental and eastern European costumes and textiles; English costumes and textiles, fans, lace and linens as well as plenty of vintage clothes & textiles.

2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Manchester Antique Textile Fair – a fantastic achievement which the Textile Society hopes you’ll join them to celebrate.

All profits from ticket sales support The Textile Society’s museum awards, student and professional bursaries.

General entry from 10am; £6 / Concession £4

For more information, and to buy your ticket online, visit the Eventbrite page.

Exhibition: Renaissance Fashion in Paper

royal-armoury-museum-renaissance-fashion-in-paper

Exhibition dates: 15 September 2016 – 19 March 2017

The Medici family outside the frame

Impressive costumes, opulent creations, extravagant forms and strong colours. Lace, frills, trains, rosettes and flounces. A Renaissance collection – inspired by the most powerful Renaissance family, the Medicis. This collection has been entirely made of paper by the Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. Now her most extravagant collection is being presented in the Royal Armoury Museum, Stockholm, in the Royal Palace, for the first time in Scandinavia.

The paper costumes give an impression of the splendour of the Florentine Renaissance court. Because the original outfits have not survived to the present day, Isabelle de Borchgrave has based her pieces on portraits and other works of art. She creates what we don’t see in the portraits: the lower parts of the dresses and shoes, the backs of the dresses and the fantastic hairstyles.

Twenty-eight life-sized hand-painted paper costumes on dummies convey the opulence of the Florentine Renaissance court. They also give an insight into what the Swedish Renaissance court may have looked like during the Vasa period. Isabelle de Borchgrave’s magnificent creations bring a royal world to life in paper.

With inspiration from historical objects and paintings, Isabelle de Borchgrave has created accessories in paper, specially produced for the Royal Armoury’s exhibition. Isabelle de Borchgrave is an artist and sculptor. She is best known for her colourful paintings and advanced paper installations – life-sized costumes. She is represented in a number of museums across the world. Isabelle de Borchgrave has also worked as a designer, creating dress details for fashion designer John Galliano when he was head designer for the Christian Dior fashion house.

For more information, visit the website of the Royal Armoury Museum, Stockholm, Sweden.

Event: Conference: Cloth and Costume in Ethnographic Museums – New Directions in Research, Care and Interpretation 

museum-ethnographers-group-conference-2017

Event dates: 6–7 April 2017

The Museum Ethnographers Group Annual Conference 2017 will address cloth and costume. Cloth is a unique technology: light and flexible but presenting large surfaces and capable of taking innumerable colours and structures, it covers and divides things, reveals and connects them. Clothing and costuming the body, to protect and conceal it, to make it beautiful or terrifying, to transform or display its many identities – bring persons and statuses into the performed social world. Since remote prehistory, cloth and costume have both created demands and opportunities for humans to devise many of our most ingenious, delicate and technically complicated artefacts.

From Inuit gut parka to ancient Nazca textiles, traditional West African grand boubou costume to Masai beadwork, Scottish plaid to Italian tapestries, Persian rugs to Indian sari to Balinese dance masks, Bismarck Archipelago masquerade puppets to Samoan barkcloth lavalava; the cloth and costume in our World Cultures collections are immensely rich, diverse and culturally significant. In recent centuries, cloth and costume have also become important material sites for the contestation of identities and moralities, economic globalisation and colonial acculturation. From the worldwide trade in European mill-woven chemically dyed and printed textiles, to the battles of Christian missionaries with imagined states of immoral native undress, to the recent conflict between the French government and wearers of the hijab and burkini, the globalisation of Western dress convention has powerfully impacted the world’s other material cultures.

How, then, do we weave together these many strands in the ethnographic museum? What is the current state of research into world cultures’ cloth and costume collections, and what new approaches are we developing to understand them better? How are historical textiles and costume being curated in the world’s museums, and reimagined in the world’s contemporary art scenes? Are we engaging with contemporary world fashion or trapped in perpetuating stereotypical imaginings of an ‘authentically dressed’ ethnographic past that may never have existed? How can we manage these challenging objects better? What are the particular conservation problems of ethnographic textiles and costume, and how can we better care for them in the future? How are we exhibiting cloth and clothing in 2017? Are we capitalising on costume’s universal appeal in our display and education programmes?

Titles and 200-word abstracts for papers addressing these and other questions are warmly welcomed. Two standard formats are offered to presenters: a full conference paper to last twenty minutes, and a shorter ten-minute presentation on work in progress. Please email your proposed title, abstract and format choice (or any queries) to andrew.mills@glasgow.ac.uk by Monday 6 February.

Booking for the 2017 conference is now open. Tickets can be purchased through the Eventbrite site.

For more information, visit the website of the Museum Ethnographers Group.

Exhibition: From Sweden to Sardinia – Embroidered Garments from All Over Europe

TRC - From Sweden to Sardinia

Exhibition dates: opens 30 August 2016

For centuries, people all over Europe have been decorating their clothing with what are often highly intricate forms of ornamental needlework. The Textile Research Centre (TRC) in the Netherlands is therefore very pleased about their recent acquisition of about sixty embroidered Hungarian garments and over 1,400 items of European regional dress, many of which are embroidered. The TRC now has one of the largest collections of traditional European clothing in Europe. Over the next few years they plan to highlight various aspects of this stunning array of European material culture, in both actual and digital exhibitions.

To celebrate the recent acquisitions, and to draw attention to regional European decorative needlework, the latest TRC gallery exhibition – opening today – will show needlework from many parts of Europe. The exhibition includes a wide variety of colourful, subtle, marvellous outfits and individual garments, as well as many women’s lace and embroidered caps. They derive from all over Europe, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and of course the Netherlands, to name just a few countries. Emphasis is laid on the many different forms and techniques of decoration that have been used, and which are often still used by people all over Europe in order to indicate their region’s particular character.

For more information, visit the website of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, Netherlands.

Exhibition: Art and Stories from Mughal India

Cleveland Museum - Art and Stories from Mughal India

Exhibition dates: 31 July – 23 October 2016

The Mughal Empire existed for more than 300 years, from the early 1500s until the arrival of British colonial rule in 1857, encompassing territory that included vast portions of the Indian subcontinent and Afghanistan. The Mughal rulers were Central Asian Muslims who assimilated many religious faiths under their administration. Famed for its distinctive architecture, including the Taj Mahal, the Mughal Empire is also renowned for its colourful and engaging paintings. Many of these take the form of narrative tales that not only delight the eye but also reveal fascinating ways in which the empire’s diverse cultural traditions found their way into royal creative expressions.

The centennial exhibition Art and Stories from Mughal India focuses on four stories – an epic, a fable, a mystic romance and a sacred biography – embedded within the overarching story of the Mughals themselves as told through 100 paintings drawn from the Cleveland Museum of Art’s world-class holdings. Many works from the museum’s recent landmark acquisition of the Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Ralph Benkaim Collection are exhibited here and published in a companion volume for the first time. Rounding out the exhibition is a selection of costumes, textiles, jewellery, arms and armour, architectural elements, and decorative arts on loan from museums across the United States.

For more information, visit the website of the Cleveland Museum of Art, USA.

Exhibition: In Fashion – Clothes and Pictures from the Renaissance and Early Baroque

GMN - In Fashion

Exhibition dates: 3 December 2015 – 6 March 2016

The Germanisches Nationalmuseum (GNM) is for the first time presenting its internationally significant collection of clothing of the Early Modern age in a large-scale special exhibition. Around fifty costumes from the period 15601650 are exhibited in the context of contemporary paintings and graphic artworks. In addition, the exhibition features rare pieces of everyday clothing from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, including finds – on show for the first time – from a tailor’s workshop in Bremen, as well as needles, scissors, thimbles and clothes brushes.

Clothes have always played a central role in self-expression and individual identity. This exhibition brings together rare original textiles and representative likenesses from international museums. It shows clothing and fashion in their diverse social contexts and makes them decipherable as part of the material culture as well as in terms of their social and image-specific symbolism. The historical items of clothing permit a close-up view of shapes, materials and styling. The complementary paintings illustrate the original effect of the clothes and the way they were worn, which then, as now, reveals a person’s place in society. The exhibition also addresses the question of how reliably the preserved items of clothing bear witness to the past, as the originals have rarely survived the centuries unscathed.

The exhibition is supported by international collections, with loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the Royal Armoury, Stockholm, which owns and has generously lent a doublet dating from 1610 which is preserved as individual tailored pieces and is a unique document of historic tailoring practice.

For more information, visit the website of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg.

Exhibition: Jean-Etienne Liotard

Royal Academy - Jean-Etienne Liotard

Exhibition dates: 24 October 2015 – 31 January 2016

Jean-Etienne Liotard was an artist in great demand across Enlightenment Europe and beyond. An eccentric and distinctive portraitist, his work conjures up the magnificence and cultural curiosity of the age in vividly lifelike detail.

Born at the beginning of the eighteenth century, this idiosyncratic Swiss artist was one of the most accomplished portraitists of his day. He travelled widely – from London to the Orient – applying his unflinching powers of observation to create beautifully crafted portraits, the majority in his signature pastels on parchment.At the peak of his powers, Liotard was commissioned to paint portraits of members of the British, French and Austrian royal families. A master of self-publicity, he was known as ‘the Turk’ — so-called for his adoption of Oriental costume following an extended voyage to the Near East, where he painted expatriate residents as well as scenes of everyday life in the Ottoman Empire.

From delicate lace and silks to turbans and furs, Liotard’s depictions of textiles reveal his astonishing command of detail and texture. His work is a superb record of the fashions of his age.

This is the first retrospective exhibition in the UK to be devoted to Liotard, bringing together over 70 rarely seen works. Covering the artist’s time in Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Constantinople and London – where he exhibited work at the Royal Academy – this exhibition is a long-overdue celebration of an exceptional artist.

Fore information, visit the website of the Royal Academy, London.

Exhibition: The Fabric of India

V&A - Fabric of India
Exhibition dates: 3 October 2015 – 10 January 2016

India’s handmade textiles are embedded in every aspect of its identity. The history of these fabrics dates back at least 6,000 years. Courtly splendour was proclaimed by sumptuous fabrics, while religious worship still finds expression through sacred cloths. Centuries of global trade have been shaped by the export of Indian textiles and patterns, in demand around the world. These celebrated handmade textiles even survived the threat of industrialisation, instead uniting India as symbols of power and protest. Today, young designers are adapting traditional making techniques to create exciting new fashion, art and design for a global audience, giving India’s textile history a new relevance in the modern world.

The highlight of the V&A’s India Festival, The Fabric of India will be the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India, spanning from the 3rd century to the present day. Showcasing the best of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners and leading designers, the exhibition will feature over 200 objects, many on display for the first time. Visitors can expect a stunning range of historic dress, heirloom fabrics and cutting-edge fashion.

The astonishing skills and variety evident in India’s incomparably rich textile tradition will surprise and inform even those with prior knowledge of the subject, and is sure to delight visitors.

For more information, visit the website of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.