|ANNE WANNER'S Textiles in History / exhibitions|
Medioevo in Viaggio -
The Voyage in the Middle Ages
|the Textile Society UK Biennial Research Symposium in London on 28 March, 2015.|
Some considerations on the need for a renewed methodology in embroidery research.
Rosalia Bonito Fanelli, Textile
Reliquiary purse, Rhinelands, 14th/15th c., linen, embroidery in silk and metal threads, 22,2 x 20,9 cm, Inv. P 870 - © Rheinisches Bildarchiv
The Schnütgen Museum has contributed a reliquary purse which was studied by our pioneer authority, Leonie von Wilckens. (fig. 1) . The geometic motif is so frequent in Northern embroidery at the time. However it seems to me that after recent finds there could be suggested Chinese influence in the patterning. Purses with geometric decorative silk embroidery (a single element reversed upon itself) were also a traditional part of Mongolian Asian dress. It would be interesting to have the fibers and dyes now analyzed with modern scientific instruments.
Bag of messenger, beginning 16th c., leather and velvet, 19,5 x 20,5 cm, Inv. 1338C, Firenze, Museo Nazionale del Bargello
The Bargello Museum has on view a green velvet dispatch purse surmounted by a template-cut floral pattern in leather (fig. 2). Here too the stitching thread and stitching techniques could give clues to dating.
|This brings me to
the second point:
The need for new research methods in embroidery studies was also pointed out when I attended the Textile Society UK Biennial Research Symposium in London on 28 March, 2015.
The theme was on new methodological considerations for textile research.
For embroidery in particular the problem of dating and attribution was also stressed in an informative talk by Alexander Lester-Makin, a PhD researcher of Early Medieval embroidery in the British Isles. She had previously trained at the Royal College of Needlework and also worked for some time professionally. In her view - and also in the general discussion afterwards - was pointed out that the work tools used, the technical structure of the stitches, the vegetal dyes (some plants no longer exist), etc. have changed or even disappeared over time.
Both the Bargello exhibition and the London Symposium significantly demonstrate a renewed interest in the Medieval world and the Neo-Gothic revival. And embroideries were an important part of both cultures. The utilization of state-of-the-art scientific equipment can be useful for research investigation.
Over 25 years ago I had already stressed this point in a CIETA Directing Council Meeting at the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (OMAK) in Vienna! And now that technological equipment has become even more advanced so that verification and cataloging has a greater aid.
(Rosalia Bonito Fanelli, Textile Historian)
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