It was my good fortune to happen across the Cluny Museum in Paris last month and discover an amazing exhibit called The Art of Embroidery in the Middle Ages. It was inspiring to see beautiful handwork from their European collection covering the 12th to 16th centuries. The exhibition, housed in the ancient Roman Frigidarium, is sadly now closed.
Too have seen the detail of this extraordinary stitching close was so inspiring. It gives me the chills! Viewing embroidery first hand rather than through books or on the web really brings it to life for me.
And for my fellow stitch appreciators who left comments on my recent blog post, thank you. The name suggestions for my thread dyeing mistake above were a wonder. As in, I wonder why there were so many suggestions related to wine?
I’m not adverse to a good Bordeaux as a wine or as a thread title. Both Annette R and Jeri P suggested Bordeaux as the thread name and each win a size 8 skein of the new Bordeaux colorway. I also promised to give away a skein to a random winner. Congratulations Lea Ann F. you are my lucky winner!
Earlier this month it was my good fortune to travel to France. This gift from my sweet husband fulfilled the number one item on my bucket list: seeing the Bayeux Tapestry.
Photos of the work are not allowed (this is a photo from a book).
The Bayeux Tapestry is hand embroidered on linen with wool thread. It illustrates the story of William the Conqueror, Harold, Earl of Wessex, and the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Using the stem stitch and “Bayeux Stitch”, it was embroidered in the 1070’s and measures about 70 meters long and 50 centimeters high.
It is amazing!
I spent a thrilling hour viewing the tapestry. And later attended an evening event in the Bayeux Cathedral. In a vivid light show, moving images of the work were projected on the columns and balustrades of the cathedral while a narrator told the story of William the Conqueror.
Entrance to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum
What a thrill to see this historic piece of artwork first hand! To know that it was preserved for centuries and is a treasured piece of textile work overwhelms me. It reinforces my belief that telling stories through hand work has great value not only to the viewer but to the maker as well.
There is still time to see a terrific exhibit at the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts in Melbourne FL. I recently visited this gem of a gallery on the Florida Tech campus and really enjoyed their latest exhibit Rooted, Revived, Reinvented: Basketry in America. You’ll see the history of American basketry from early indigenous pieces to contemporary fine art like this extraordinary vessel by Lois Russell called Magic Bus (2012).
Better get there soon. The exhibit ends December 14. But I see there is a bead work exhibit coming up. Wish I could see that one too!
One of the many joys of being a traveling textile teacher is the opportunity to visit great museums. With my gracious hostess, Laura, I recently visited Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art before giving a lecture to her guild, Q.U.I.L.T of Northwest Arkansas.
What a fabulous museum! The buildings, setting, and artwork were a delight to see. We stepped into a work by Yayoi Kusama called the Infinity Mirrored Room – My Heart is Dancing into the Universe and viewed gallery after gallery artwork from early American to contemporary work. Thank you Laura for your generosity!
What are the benefits of visiting a museum (other than the gift shop)?
A visit to a museum:
- stimulates new ideas for your own artwork,
- expands your knowledge of the world and humanity, and
- is a refreshing break from reality.
Make a date with a museum today. Trust me, you’ll fall in love.