Textile Tokens with Ariane Fennetaux, Gillian Vogelsang-Eastwood, John Styles and Megan Griffiths
With a panel of textile experts, Textile Tokens, looks at the precious tokens that textiles have formed. 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. Textile Tokens includes 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. Her recent research deals with the global circulations of dress, textiles and animal products c.1600-1900. Co-author of, The Pocket, A Hidden History of Women's Lives 1660-1900, Barbara Burman, formerly heard of History of Art and Design at the University of Southampton, is an independent scholar. She is currently working on a book on the practice of needlework.
About The Pocket, A Hidden History of Women's Lives 1660-1900
Restoring to view a forgotten but once exceedingly common object, The Pocket, A Hidden History of Women's Lives 1660-1900 offers the first book-length study of women’s tie-on pockets. For over two centuries, this accessory was worn by women across social and economic backgrounds, from prostitutes to duchesses. Drawing on sources as varied as criminal records, letters, visual art, inventories, advertisements, novels, and surviving pockets in museum and private collections, the book uncovers remarkable details about the quotidian lives of a diverse population of women. The tie-on pocket provides insight into female consumption practices, sociability, mobility, privacy and identity. As objects, they were simultaneously embodiments of memory and sentiment for their owners, and part of the continuum of women’s labour, from the needlework of making them to their mending and washing. The many illustrations include portraits, satirical prints and new photography of surviving pockets that captures the materials, techniques and decoration women chose for these deeply personal artefacts.
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. In addition, she is involved in helping various projects to support and encourage textile artisans around the world.
The TRC Leiden presents two exhibitions a year that explore different aspects of textile and dress history, with subjects ranging from Afghan dress, African textiles, to different forms of lace, and embroidered textiles. The current exhibition looks at the history of the buteh motif that is otherwise known as the Paisley motif.
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. He specialises in the history of early-modern Britain, especially the study of material life, manufacturing and design. 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). He is currently writing a book on fashion, textiles and the origins of Industrial Revolution.
Megan Griffiths is a pattern designer, illustrator and embroiderer who studied her Bachelor’s degree at Falmouth University and is now based in the green, glorious Hampshire countryside. 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 work is a concoction of tenderness, gentility and intricacy. 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.
Bottom row, left image: Embroidered pocket, early to mid-18th century. Fashion Museum Bath, inv. BATMC VI.14.1
Bottom row, middle image: Marcella woven pocket, mid-1800s. Hampshire Cultural Trust, inv. HMCMS:CRH1973.16.2
Bottom row, right image: Patchwork pocket, early to mid 19th century, Royal School of Needlework, inv. RSN 211
All pre-recorded talks are non-refundable.