The Stuff that Matters

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A collection of historic textiles assembled over the past 30 years by Seth Siegelaub for the Centre for Social Research on Old Textiles. Items on display range from Coptic and Pre-Columbian textiles to eighteenth-century European silks.


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Another beautifully put together show at Raven Row. I know nothing of textiles, but was fascinated by the way this has been put together. Enough historical detail and explanation to tell a story, and enough beauty and intrigue in the exhibits to inspire. I know it has been said before but Raven Row is such a lovely space, it is made for the kind of quiet study that this stuff demands. For the most part the delicate fabrics are kept behind glass. It was surprising (to me anyway) how recognisable some of the patterns were - even from 10 centuries ago it was possible to identify something as clearly south american. The only downside - though this was of course understandable - is that you can't touch the stuff. It really does make you want to run your fingers across it, or try on one of the amazing pieces of headgear. It's not going to be for everyone - it isn't dynamic and there aren't many jokes - but this exhibition had a real fascination for me. Thanks.