ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

The Textile-Museum St.Gallen
Vadianstrasse 2
CH-9000 St.Gallen
tel: ++41 71 222 17 44
fax: ++41 71 223 42 39
opening hours:
Mo - Sa: 10-12, 14-17
sunday: 10-17,
first Wed. every month: 10-17

entrance fees:
sFr. 5.- per person
sFr. 3.- in groups of 10 persons
sFr 2.- students

Nature and Landscape - Textiles and Drawings

historical textiles and drawings of nature
by Urs Hochuli meet in a dialogue

an exhibition to mark
the 2001 International Lace Constance Festival

9 May 2001 to 7 October 2001

  The earliest naturalistic representation of a tree in the possession of the Textile Museum is a row of fruit trees on a Coptic fabric of late antiquity, i.e. of the 6-7 centuries. These are fragments of a large tapestry intended as a wall decoration. The representation may have been based on the idea of the Garden of Eden.
Much later, during the Baroque period, the design of decorative textiles took its bearings from the ornaments of very advanced cultures of the past. Naturalistic representations were almust exclusively arranged in a secondary position and constituted backdrops to religious or mythological pricures.
In the 18th century, a wide variety of influences provided fertile soil for a new language of forms. This included textile depictions which attempted to approximate naturalistic representation with as much accuracy as possible. Details from real landscapes, flowers, birds and insects abounded on fabrics and lace which clothed people or were used for interior decoration.

In the 19th century, the love of the landscapes of home and of rural idylls was adopted into the canon of forms. The influence of the World Exhibitions, which took place regularly in European capitals from 1851, is reflected in a great pluralism of styles. After 1860, products from the Far East began to have an impact on European manufacture. This influence can be seen on the fire screens and blinds that were produced in Switzerland.

landscape with river
splitstich, drawing
France 1780-1800

part of lambrequin
rolerprinted on cotton
France, Jouy, 1810-20


stone and ornaments
coloured pencil
Urs Hochuli

bird and ornaments
coloured pencil
Urs Hochuli

curtain, chainstitch on tull
France, around 1910

  These textiles, which were inspired by nature and landscape, now engage in a fascinating dialogue with Urs Hochuli's subtle drawings of nature. Hochuli worked in St.Gallen for many years, as the head designer of a textile company, and as a teacher at the College of Textile Design. On the basis of the conclusion that the study of natural forms and their transfromation into ornaments is an indispensable prerequisite for textile designers, he not only developed a way of teaching that can be described as an actual "school of seeing", but he also created artistic works of his own, in which natural forms are the central element. Apart from flowers, birds and ants, it is particularly the drawings of stones that are striking.

home content Last revised June 12, 2001