ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History   /  exhibitions

Permanent exhibition
of old textiles and works of art.
Temporary exhibition 2002

Address: Werner Abegg-Strasse 67
CH-3132 Riggisberg

tel: ++41 (0)31 808 12 01
fax: ++41 (0)31 808 12 00
opening hours:
daily 2 p.m. - 5.30 p.m.

entrance fees:
sFr. 5.- adults
free for children and schoolclasses

Of Gardens and Castles

Naturalistic Silks from the eighteenth century

28 April to 10 November 2002

In their special exhibition of the year 2002 the Abegg-Stiftung is presenting naturalistic silk weavings from around 1730 to 1745. Views of princely gardens and castles with colourful flower motifs invite to take a closer look.The precious silks have survived in the form of single lengths of fabric as well as entire garments and convey an impression of the luxurious life-style of the Ancien Régime.

With their rich colour scheme and the abundant use of gold and silver threads, these silks are counted among the highlights of decorative art. Their detailed desings reflect the highly specialised weaving techniques, which allowed for a refined representation of complex compositions.

Use and re-use
Most of the silks shown here were originally intended to be made into ladies' dresses. Skirt panels can be recognised by the fact that their desings is concentrated in the lower paret of the fabric. Discarded garments were frequently given to the church and the precious silks later re-used in the making of liturgical vestments.


Some silks have survived in the form of several variants. These exhibit the same composition, but differ in the colours of the ground and motifs or in the direction of the design.

Silk designs in the naturalistic style first evolved in France in the 1730s. The designer Jean Revel played a major role here. He allegedly invented the so-called points rentrés-effects, by means of which gradual colour transitions and shading could be achieved in the representation of plant motifs.



  The Abegg Foundation was established in 1961 for the conservation, restoration and study of woven textiles to which there has been added collections of varied objects of the Minor Arts, included in changing exhibitions during the season, May until October.
The library of some 50'000 publications and journals is available to accredited scholars throughout the year.
The Textile Atelier which accepts certain apprentices for limited periods is not open to visitors.

home content Last revised April 23, 2002 For further information contact Anne Wanner