Author: Susan Brown

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Traces of Light
Rush Hour 2 is part of a series “Traces of Light,” a collaboration with her filmmaker/director husband, Bo Hovgaard that captures big cities at night. Hovgaard’s video camera is unfocused as he captures the light in Shanghai from driving cars and advertising signs. Sorensen selects individual images from the video and translates photographic pixels into...
Vitae
Drawing in Air
Lenore Tawney was a transformative figure in the fiber arts movement, but she studied sculpture before turning to weaving, and moved seamlessly between the two. The improvisational nature of her weaving rejected the grid imposed by the loom, emphasizing the individual trajectory of each thread. Vitae showcases one of her major technical innovations: the “open...
Nuno me Gara
Weaving Illusions
Junichi Arai was born in Kiryu, the center of traditional Japanese silk weaving, and was trained in his family’s mill. He went on to become one of the most innovative textile artists of our time. Over the past fifty years he has won dozens of patents for his work in fiber chemistry, metallic fibers and...
shawl border
Passion for Exotic Fashion
When Napoleon presented Josephine with a shawl that had been given to him on his Egyptian campaign (1798–1801), he started a fashion craze that lasted half a century and had major economic impacts on several nations. Fashionable ladies wearing the extremely lightweight Neoclassical gowns of the period went wild for the soft, beautiful and very...
liturgical gloves
Gloves for a feast
Liturgical gloves are permitted to be worn by the Pope, Archbishops, or Cardinals on special feast days or for processions. Almost all of the surviving examples in museum collections are of knitted silk, and many are ornamented on the back of the hand with a knitted or embroidered IHS monogram in gold. The sunburst monogram...
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Two Squares
By the mid-nineteenth century, both Glasgow, Scotland and Manchester, England were producing huge numbers of bandannas, printed cotton handkerchiefs imitating earlier tie-died silk handkerchiefs from India. The success of that industry was the result of perfecting two chemical processes: the so-called Turkey Red process for dying cotton a brilliant, washable red, and discharge printing, a...
ASAFO Flag, before 1957
Beware of Armed Women
Among the Fante people of coastal Ghana, small local militias known as Asafo play an important role in community and political life. Rivalries among the Asafo companies are common, and many flags are specifically designed as challenges or insults to rival companies. Others are based on proverbs, with subtle references to local events or personalities....
Dark green ground appliquéd with a dark brown layer. Large areas of the brown layer have been cut away and are stitched to the ground fabric in a stylized floral pattern using bright red thread.
Inspiration and Production
In 2004, the Museum commissioned Hella Jongerius to create a series of ten textiles, collectively titled Sampler Blanket, in conjunction with her Collection Selects exhibition. Each work in the show was inspired by designs found on historic samplers in the Museum’s Textile collection, which includes over 1,000 examples of embroidered samplers from all over the...
Length of digitally printed silk with layered pomegranate-like forms creating an abstract pattern of intersecting circles, in subtle shades of tan and taupe.
Digital Silk
Hitoshi Ujiie is a textile designer as well as educator and founder of the Center for Excellence in Digital Inkjet Printing at Philadelphia University. Ujiie’s work is an exploration of the aesthetic implications of digital inkjet printing for textiles, which is bringing about profound changes in the approach to design for this medium. Working from...