TASA Fall Program: Threads of Time

On Monday, October 16, 2017, Dr. Rebecca Stone, Professor of Art History at the Michael C. Carlos Museum and Art of the Americas curator joined with her curatorial assistant, Liz Caris, graduate student in Art History, to lead 38 TASA members and friends through the Threads of Time exhibit at Emory University’s Carlos Museum.

Our group was awed by the breadth and depth of the indigenous American fiber arts in the collection which included a nearly 2000-year-old textile from the Andean coastal desert.

The walls in one room burst with color from the display of Guna molas, their designs ranging from the geometric to the fanciful.

We learned about the naturally brown cuyuscate cotton, the different materials—in addition to cotton–used by the indigenous people in making textiles–camelid hair, feathers, plant fibers; and we learned about the different dying, weaving and embroidery techniques used. We saw an amazing centuries-old double-weave cloth and a textile trim of brightly colored hummingbirds done in three-dimensional embroidery.

Another room contained a set of Chichicastenango huipiles from successive 20th century decades that illustrated how the colors and designs of the huipiles transformed over time.

All in all it was an amazing and colorful display of textiles.

Submitted by Gail Goodwin

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Winter Program: SCAD, FASH Exhibition

In January, at the invitation of Marie deGeorge, artist and couture fashion designer, three groups of TASA members toured the extraordinary exhibits at the Savannah School of Art and Design, SCAD, FASH:  “Threads of History: Two Hundred Years of Fashion” and “Embellished: Adornment Through the Ages.”

Rafael Gomez, curator of the exhibit, led the tours. He explained the historical context of the dresses and adornment objects– shoes, hats, jewelry, and other items–as well as the construction materials and the unintended consequences of many of the extreme dress fashions for women: skirts catching fire, dangerous falls, re-alignment of body organs, radiation poisoning, difficult child births, etc.

Rafael also explained how in order for SCAD to exhibit the historic dresses properly, each dress required its own individually carved mannequin.

SCAD student docents accompanied the tours.  Using  iPads, the students showed pictures that gave additional contextual information to the objects on display.

Following the formal tour, Rafael took the TASA groups into the working room where he showed costumes that were not put on exhibit, reproduction corsets and antique fashion design books.

The low light to protect the textiles, the black framed exhibition niches, and the extensive diorama presentations of the dresses augmented with historically accurate accessories made for a thoroughly dramatic and beautiful complimentary set of exhibitions.

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