Sunday, March 19, 2006

Support Your Local Museum 

Over the years I've found that virtually every museum in the world has some sort of textile in their collection. Don't think there is "nothing to see" if you live far from the madding crowd of the BIG city.

Lately I've turned up a few intriguing museums I'll be visiting one of these days.

Lowell, Massachusetts is well known as an early American center of textiles. Here lived the Mill Girls who kept the new spinning and weaving machines working and turning out the commercial fabrics now found sewn into vintage garments and quilts. Try a visit to the American Textile History Museum for a look at their collection documenting the American textile industry. You will find a modest number of graphics on their pages in the Collections section.

Or, try the Spurlock Museum at The University of Illinois, Urbana. Search their data base for "embroidery" and you will turn up images of amongst other lovely things; early Italian voided ground border; a collection of amazing European dolls dressed in traditional costumes embroidered with (for example Hardanger as well as other techniques); Armenian samplers and crazy quilts.

I yearn for the Ethographic Museum in Belgrade in order to inspect their large collection of embroidered towels as well as other treasures. Towels had a special significance in many Eastern European homes and were used to designate a home shrine or other important place in the home.

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