[J. Forbes Watson, Collection of Specimens and Illustrations of the Textile Manufactures of India (detail),
London: The India Museum, 1873–1880. Image via The Met.]
|[From the earlier post.]|
Watson -- who incidentally began his career as a Scottish medical doctor, not an art historian or entrepreneur -- developed a lifelong passion for a wide variety of textiles found on the Indian subcontinent. Ultimately he published compilations of these fabrics as well as a book of Indian plant life, and was even appointed Director of the India Museum. For him, the books were like mini mobile museums, or maybe more to the point, Victorian Pinterest boards that could inspire manufacturers in India and Britain. The Met's new show, An Industrial Museum, opening August 12, explores Watson's second group of textile catalogues, the 17-volume set eventually acquired by Tiffany & Co.'s chief designer from 1868 to 1891, Edward C. Moore. Known for his extensive personal art library, Moore donated his collection to the Museum.