Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Textile Scout™

[Detail view: 16th-century Chinese embroidered silk coverlet from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1975.]
There's no question that the flower-strewn bedcover pictured here is beautiful to look at and probably wonderful to touch (as it belongs to The Met, most of us will never do the latter) but it also offers proof that globalization is nothing new.

Notice how Eastern and Western motifs are intermingling throughout the design? Most iconically Chinese are the dragons, flowering branches and other flattened, stylized blossoms, but take a second glance and you'll see figures dressed in European garb. Textiles that combine aspects of multiple cultures -- whether it's a specific technique, theme or style preference -- and thus have a design story to tell, too, will be the focus of The Met's upcoming fall exhibition Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500–1800 opening September 16 and continuing through January 5, 2014.

During the Elizabethan era, cloth was a major part of maritime trade and, as the Museum points out, was sometimes used as currency. Ideas were transmitted from continent to continent via textiles, a bit like designs are shared today by instagramming and pinning. See a gorgeous 18th-century hybrid here.     

Textile Scout™ is an existing feature here at SC that I plan to expand in coming months.

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