Session641
TitleRethinking 'Texts' on Textiles and Tapestries
Date/TimeTuesday 5 July 2022: 11.15-12.45
 
OrganiserIMC Programming Committee
 
Moderator/ChairTina Anderlini, Centre d'Études Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale (CESCM - UMR 7302), Université de Poitiers
 
Paper 641-a Removing the 'Border Guards': Eugène Müntz and Aby Warburg on Tapestry
(Language: English)
Julia LaPlaca, Department of History of Art, University of Michigan
Index Terms: Art History - Decorative Arts; Historiography - Medieval; Historiography - Modern Scholarship
Paper 641-b A New Timeline for the Appearance of Printed Textiles in Western Europe
(Language: English)
Tonia R. Brown, Independent Scholar, Fairborn, Ohio
Index Terms: Archaeology - Artefacts; Art History - Decorative Arts; Economics - Trade; Printing History
 
AbstractPaper -a:
This paper explores the tapestry scholarship of Eugène Müntz (1845-1902) and Aby Warburg (1866-1929). Both art historians recognised the unique ability of tapestries to be carriers of images (Warburg's term: Bilderfahrzeuge) throughout time and geographies, even though many tapestries bear the specific styles of late-medieval, Northern Europe. Studying tapestry became a catalyst for Müntz and Warburg in rethinking many of the traditional borders that have circumscribed tapestry scholarship and the field of European art history in general: the borders between Northern and Southern Europe, renaissance and medieval art, and the 'high' and 'decorative arts'.

Paper -b:
Contemporary textbooks date the arrival of printed textiles in Western Europe through trade to the 6th century, a claim attributed to a textile fragment said to have been from India and buried with a saint in France in 542. This apocryphal story from the 19th century was published by the owner, a well-regarded collector at the time - whose collection has since been discredited as largely counterfeits or misattributions. New evidence and evolved thought from the past 120+ years are considered to re-evaluate the timeline as to when printed textiles were likely to have first arrived in Western Europe through trade.