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Le Strange Fruit

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Back arrowFirst Post      Back to blog      17/01/2006Forward arrow


Usual first day nerves, but an excitement for what is to come. Briefly shown around the maze that is the museum and my office, located in the FTF department. Shown the large fashion and textile library outside my office and the original acquisition books which date back to the middle of the 19th Century - these have recorded every arrival since the start of the museum of objects in the relevant department. Looking through the textile books, a main interest is emerging from a very early start: the 18th century textile. I am particularly interested in the strange representations on fabrics in the bizarre silks, the idea of the ‘exotique’ in particular a large variety of books, as well as representations of tribal natives meeting discoverers on cloth. With a lot of trend-based fashion focusing on this period’s textiles, I am curious as to why they seem to have reared their heads again? I am concerned about the real content of these fabrics. Little documentation seems to have been uncovered any reason for the strange figures on cloth in the Leman collection of bizarre silk designs. Why was there a need for representation of buildings, exotic fruit on textiles? What strikes me as even more odd is the very peculiar content: graphic shapes, strange compositions, funny really how these were so ‘modern’ in their sensitivity.
Bizarre silks
Investigate: People’s obsession with the exotic. Flowers on fabrics having Indian religious significance, removed for purpose in the West. Perhaps the fabrics were meant as somewhat of a souvenir? Perhaps the main aim of the prints for the collection need to take on a sort-of souvenir quality?

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