I really enjoyed this show on Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620 that I saw at The Metropolitan Museum here in NYC, earlier this week. The exhibition includes some modern examples of fashions by designers such as Ralph Lauren and Giorgio De Saint Angelo that have been influenced by early examples of embroidery and stitching. Pictured below with the contemporary clothes is a embroidered linen shirt.
There are some old black and white pattern books on display too which is very inspiring to see as seemingly many of them didn’t survive as they would have been cut up for use and references.
There are examples of crafts people at work including a painting of a young virgin Mary pausing for prayer while stitching some letters by the Spanish artist Francisco de Zubarin. It was a popular composition during Medieval and Renaissance times as sewing and embroidering were associated with meditation and spirituality. There is more information on Virtue and Virtuosity in the show and how needlework was associated with more pious activities as encouraged by depictions of Mary sewing and spinning and to be preferred by well brought up young girls and women more than lascivious activities such as singing, dancing and playing games!?
Some other wonderful pieces shown below, a Band Sampler by British girl, Anna Buckett, 17th century, I think it is interesting that on the wall text they suggest that the July 12th embroidered on the piece could indicate the finish date or a day of significance for Anna perhaps even her start date I was also thinking. Then there is the fragment of embroidered net depicting a Dragon and Knight and some other characters which looks so dramatic and contemporary mounted on the red background.
There is a little gift shop adjoining the show which has some well chosen books, embroidery kits and haberdashery items to purchase such as products from Carta, Angela Liguori’s company; measuring tape and a black and white calligraphy ribbon which I couldn’t resist buying along with some great oversized postcards of pieces from the show.