Image: Cushion cover (detail), Crete, 18th - 19th century. From the collection of the Ashmolean Museum.
Embroideries from the Greek islands dazzle with their bright colours and charming motifs. But they also surprise with their range and variety, which reflect the region's complex history and multicultural past. Once forming the bulk of bridal trousseaux, these textiles were produced and maintained by young and old women for themselves and the house using locally produced materials. A mark of their worth and a platform for self-expression, they also helped these women to negotiate their place in the community, signalling status and affiliation.
The Ashmolean Museum’s latest free display, Mediterranean Threads: 18th- and 19th-Century Greek Embroideries, will be on view until 19th September. For those who are unable to make it to Oxford, the museum has also made the exhibition available to view online via the Ashmolean Museum website (also available below). Explore the visual richness and technical sophistication of 18th- and 19th-century Greek embroidery through a selection of highlights from the collection.