Green: the Color and the Cause April 16 - September 11, 2011 Many cultures traditionally associate the color green with nature and its attributes, including life, fertility and rebirth. In recent years, green has become the symbolic color of environmentalism. This exhibition will celebrate green both as a color and as a cause, exploring the techniques people have devised to create green textiles, the meanings this color has held in cultures across time and place, and the ways that contemporary textile artists and designers are responding to concerns about the environment. The exhibition will include a selection of work from the Museum’s collection, along with extraordinary work by contemporary artists and designers from five continents. For the first time in the Museum’s almost 90 year history, this exhibition will present two site specific installations― a handmade paper sculpture of the eco-system of coastal New Jersey which emulates the ebb and flow of an important estuary and a lace-covered arbor in the Museum’s garden embedded with grass seed which will sprout, mature and die during the period the exhibition is on view. Like all of the contemporary works, these installations will help continue today’s Green conversation.
Second Lives: The Age-Old Art of Recycling Textiles
February 4 - January 8, 2012 Throughout the world, textiles were historically so valuable that threadbare fabrics were seldom completely discarded. Drawn from The Textile Museum's permanent collection, this exhibition highlights the ways people in various cultures have ingeniously repurposed worn but precious fabrics to create beautiful new textile forms. Examples include a rare sutra cover made from a 15th-century Chinese rank badge, a vest fashioned from a Pacific Northwest coast Chilkat blanket, and a large patchwork hanging from Central Asia stitched together from small scraps of silk ikat and other fabrics. Also featured are a pictorial kantha from India embroidered with threads recycled from old saris, a coat from 19th-century Japan painstakingly woven from rags, and other recycled textiles. Second Lives complements the major spring exhibition, Green: the Color and the Cause, on view April 16 through September 11, 2011.
This vest was created from a covering used at an Islamic holy site. Textiles were often used to cover sacred scriptures and shrines - including the Kaaba at Mecca, possibly the most impressive example of such use.
Artist Unknown, Sash
Metallic silk thread
India, late 18th century
The Textile Museum 6.315