Interwoven

Collecting, displaying and understanding textiles in decorative arts museums

About the Project

Interwoven is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie project funded by the European Commission exploring the V&A's influence on the collecting textiles, exhibition and education in Spain.

Context

Historically, the V&A played a critical role in the development of decorative arts and design museums worldwide. This project investigates the influence of the V&A on the Spanish Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas (MNAD) in Madrid and the collecting of textiles in Spain. Specifically, the project will examine the rationales underpinning the V&A's practices regarding the collecting, displaying and researching of textiles and the extent to which they influenced practice in its Spanish counterpart.

Aim

Focusing on the first 100 years of the V&A's existence (1852 – 1948), the project begins the process of unraveling the complexities of the historical acquisition and display of these textiles. It will do this by developing four multidisciplinary collection case studies clustered around four distinct but interconnected themes: the role of textiles in education and the creative industries; materials, techniques and technological transfer; materiality and meaning of textiles in differing social contexts; and iconography, trade and display of textiles within the museum galleries.

Outcomes

The project will significantly enhance public awareness and understanding of the Spanish textiles collection held at the V&A. It will shed new light on the influence of the V&A on collecting practices in major European decorative arts museums, and on the role of museum collections in education, innovation and industry.

Project updates
15 June 2018
Project Interwoven: studying textiles from the outside in
Today’s blog entry would like to explain how I am examining the textiles. We need to bear in mind that historical textiles are fragile and need to be handled with care, and in case of...
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20 March 2018
Collecting Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: first insights (III)
The South Kensington Museum continued to increase its textile collection between 1880 and 1900. During this period the museum acquired significant items, such as the so-called Coptic textiles from Egypt, or velvets such 81a-b-1892 or...
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13 March 2018
Collecting Textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum: first insights (II)
The South Kensington Museum continued to increase its textile collection between 1880 and 1900. During this period the museum acquired significant items, such as the so-called Coptic textiles from Egypt, or velvets such 81a-b-1892 or...
Read more...
The Team
Dr Ana Cabrera Lafuente
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow

Ana Cabrera Lafuente has been curator at the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas in Madrid since 2002. In 2016, she was awarded a 2-year Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at the V&A. She was Coordinator at the Spanish museum on the European project ... see more

Professor Lesley E. Miller
Senior Curator of Textiles and Fashion

Lesley Miller has been Senior Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A since 2005 and was Lead Curator for the redevelopment of its Europe 1600 – 1815 decorative art and design galleries between 2010 and 2015. Since 2013, she has held a 0.2 professo ... see more

Erasmus + Fellow, V&A Visiting Scholar

"Juan de la Cierva – Formación" Researcher, Instituto de Estudios Medievales, Universidad de León Francisco de Asís García García holds a PhD in History of Art from the Complutense University of Madrid (2016) and is currently a postdoctoral researche ... see more

External partners
- Principal institutional partner
- Professor of Art History, Universidad Complutense Madrid
- Independent scholar
- Faculty Member, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
- Mellon Fellow, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research, British Museum
- Scientist, Department of Conservation and Scientific Research
V&A team
Joanne Hackett
- Head of Textiles and Fashion Conservation
Ruby Hodgson
- Assistant Curator, Textiles and Fashion
Suzanne Smith
- Curator, Textiles and Fashion
Events

This 2-day conference will explore collecting practices in Britain and Spain. It will discuss why, how, when and from whom Spanish decorative Arts came to be acquired by museums in Britain and examine how they influenced their Spanish counterparts.