The Biggs Museum will host two lectures on the history and conservation of tapestries:
1) “To Weave a Tale: a Brief History of Pictorial Tapestries”
“To Weave a Tale: a Brief History of Pictorial Tapestries” is a colorful exploration of tapestry weaving from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. These woven depictions of stories of gods and goddesses, heroes, and saints decorated palaces, churches, and manor houses. They furnished interiors with warmth and decoration. A growing tapestry industry in Northern Europe in the 17th-century also provided weavings for the rising merchant class. Depicted in illuminated manuscripts, paintings, and prints, tapestries were a luxurious feature of interior decoration. “To Weave a Tale” also describes the design and creation of tapestries, including images taken by Kraak at the Manufacture des Gobelins, Paris, the former royal workshop established under Louis XIV. Deborah Kraak, the former Associate Curator of Textiles at Winterthur Museum, holds an MA in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Now an independent museum professional, she catalogues private and institutional collections, curates exhibitions, and lectures and publishes on quilts, textiles, costume, and period interiors.
2) “Tapestries: Construction and Care”
“Tapestries: Construction and Care” is a more critical examination of the materials, construction techniques, maintenance and ultimately conservation of historic and modern tapestries. Sara Reiter is the Penny and Bob Fox Senior Conservator of Costume and Textiles at Philadelphia Museum of Art. She graduated with a MS in Art Conservation from the University of Delaware/Winterthur and interned in the conservation departments at the Royal Museum of Scotland, the Los Angeles Museum of Art and the Arizona State Museum. At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Sara is responsible for the care of the Museum’s collections of over 30,000 Costumes and Textiles and over 450 rugs and tapestries. She is an adjunct Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology where she teaches Advanced Conservation in the Museum Studies Graduate Program.