Friday, March 13, 2009

Victoria and Albert Museum

Joan and I have been home for 2 1/2 days now, and are gradually getting over jetlag. Thoughts of the women of Bitenge Designers are still never very far from our thoughts.

En route to Canada, we stopped in the UK for a few days. The highlight of that time was a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum textile collection. What a treasure trove! In vertically organized "files", samples of textile art from as far back as the 11th century and from around the world are housed. They are part of the textile study area, and are intended to be brought out and examined and sketched. Only we hadn't brought pencils or sketchbooks with us! What a wealth of history in housed in this amazing place.

This shot gives you a view of the carefully catalogued collection. The glare of the framing glass makes them a little difficult to photograph, but is a small price to pay for access to these remarkable pieces. I left wondering if I still have time in my short life to undertake a more in-depth study of textile design. Who knows?

This piece is hand worked in silk thread against a heavily quilted geometric background. It gives new meaning to the words "hand made". There were beaded pieces and embroidery, lacework - virtually anything that could be described as textile art.
If any of you are contemplating a visit to London at any time in the future, I would recommend a visit to the V & A, for sure.

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