From pockets, where small belongings could be stored, carried and even hidden, to the immensely evocative textile tokens handed by a mother with a child to The Foundling Hospital, textiles have consistently been treasured and protective tokens, imbued with memory, identity and creativity. Join us on 10 November for our upcoming talk, Textile Tokens, which will look at the crafting and legacy of these intimate textile objects.
The evening of talks will include presentations by academics and historians, as well as textile makers such as Megan Ivy Griffiths whose intricately illustrated textile figures create a fairytale story of their own.
Ariane Fennetaux is Associate Professor of history at Université de Paris. Her research and publications focus on material culture with a particular emphasis on textile and dress. She is the co-author of The Pocket, A Hidden History of Women's Lives 1660-1900. For over two centuries, this accessory was worn by women across social and economic backgrounds, from prostitutes to duchesses, and uncovers remarkable details about the quotidian lives of a diverse population of women and provides insight into female consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy and identity.
Dr. Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood is director of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, and a textile and dress historian by profession. She has worked for many years as a textile archaeologist in the Middle East. She is particularly interested in the history of embroidery and is the author and main editor of the Bloomsbury series of World Encyclopedia of Embroidery. Volume 1: The Encyclopedia of Embroidery from the Arab World (2016) won three international prizes in 2017, including the prestigious Dartmouth Medal.
John Styles is Professor Emeritus in History at the University of Hertfordshire and Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. His most recent books are The Dress of the People: Everyday Fashion in Eighteenth-Century England (Yale UP, 2007) and Threads of Feeling: The London Foundling Hospital’s Textile Tokens, 1740-1770 (Foundling Museum, 2010).
Megan Griffiths is a pattern designer, illustrator and embroiderer. She harbours an ardent passion for the beautiful and unusual, and is inspired by whimsical fairy-tales and folk costumes from around the world, and calm ambles through forests and fields. Her stitches tell stories; as a trained illustrator, as well as using a pen or pencil, she uses needle and thread to create captivating characters and little companions for everyday life.