Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620

Of great interest to Early Lace enthusiasts is the exhibit Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520-1620, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York. This features the magnificent collection of early textile pattern books that are held in the Prints and Drawings department of the museum. They have been matched with textiles, including 35 laces, many of them samples, that demonstrate how the patterns were used. There are examples of needle and bobbin lace, as well as lacis, burato and cutwork. Those whose textile interests extend beyond lace will also find embroideries and weavings, and costumes to be of interest. But the whole is greater than the parts, in that the show draws together the wonderful story of how some of the earliest printed books were books of ornamental design intended for needle workers, and how these two arts, printing and needlework evolved together. Within the exhibit are a copy of Le Pompe, the first bobbin lace book, dating to 1557, a collar with gold bobbin lace on it, and a very interesting piece of bobbin lace where the linen work is actually a form of plaiting. The exhibit includes a wood block used by Durer to print a knotwork design by Da Vinci, which is of great interest to the non-textile obsessed. The show will be up until January 10th. An added benefit is that the museum has scanned many of the early pattern books and you can see the entire book when you search the collection on line. Previously one would have to make an appointment with a major museum to see these books. Now they are available to all on line. A great day for lace scholars. #FashionandVirtue

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Thank you, Devon, for sowing this glimpse to us.  How I wish I could come and see this exhibition. It looks Fantastic.

I hope you will do a write-up for the IOLI Bulletin, so we can read more about it.

I wish I lived in New York!

In the gift shop:  the scarf with the orange border and Doris Southard's book:


Your photos add a lot to Devon's report. Thanks to you both.


Thank you for the photos. How I would Love to see this exhibition!.. I can only dream... (from the other side of the world!)

I love the Early Laces, and had a wonderful class with Gil Dye on them last year at the IOLI convention.

Many thanks to Devon and Arlene for sharing with us this great exhibition. I woukd like to be there to see in live these treasures.


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