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Embroidery--Decades and Decades of it.


[Geometric Design For Embroidery.], Digital ID 819240, New York Public LibraryI’ve been thinking quite a bit about embroidery lately. It all started when I read all about the Bard Graduate Center’s exhibition ‘Twixt Art and Nature. I admit that I’ve not seen the exhibition yet, but that won’t stop me from recommending it based on what friends have reported to me—so go see it before it closes on April 12th. I’m also pretty excited about the Bard’s exhibition-related programming, especially “Present Tense: Embroidery in Contemporary Art,” which will include conversation with artists Elaine Reichek and Richard Saja (I’ve become especially fond of Saja’s reworking of toile traditions). I have also been spending some time browsing through Embroidery: The Journal of the Embroiderers’ Guild. The Library has decades and decades of back issues, and the issues offer an aesthetic trip back in craft time as well as lots of information on projects, exhibitions, Guild member creations, the history of needle arts, and more. If your interests lean to embroidered toadstool table mats (Autumn 1963) or a needlepoint backgammon board (Summer 1964) and the like, then dig in to back issues of Embroidery.


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I recommend <em>English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1580-1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature </em> very highly. The exhibition presents quality scholarship, which is scarce in this area of material culture studies. The <em>Peterson</em> pattern you show here is for wool on canvas. Often referred to as Berlin work, this was an extremely popular form of needlework from 1820-1880 in America.

The exhibition is amazing

The exhibition is amazing and the work stunningly complex, three-dimensional, sometimes adorable, historically revealing. New Yorkers with an interest in handwork should certainly not miss it.

"Twixt Art and Nature" is an

"Twixt Art and Nature" is an exhibit not to be missed. It is doubtful that we will see such an exquisite collection of embroderies all at once in our life times, at least here in the US. The catalogue is a bargain at about $50 with fantastic color photographs of each item and very scholarly commentary that explains so much about the production and the themes of this era of exceptional embroidery. Despite a life long interest in embroidery and textiles, there was much in the catalogue that was new and exciting information to me. Of great interest is the use of new technology such as x-ray and microscopic photography to penetrate the techniques of the 17th century. The book and exhibit are of exceptional quality. One of the curators is Melinda Watt who has been made Supervising Curator of the Antonio Ratti Textile Center, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, succeeding Tom Campbell who will be the Director of the Museum. Both these developments bode well for those of us who love textiles and live in the Metropolitan area.

I blog with a group of

I blog with a group of crafters at Feeling Stitchy - we feature embroidery projects from crafters in the Flickr embroidery group, tutorials, interviews, etc. Your posts are another great resource I'll enjoy sharing with them! Thanks!

I love your Flickr group and

I love your Flickr group and your blog--thanks for the heads up about both, and thanks also for sharing what you like! I'll be adding you to my reader!

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