Metropolitan Museum of Art Digital Initiative

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Metropolitan Museum of Art Digital Initiative

Metropolitan Museum of Art Digital Initiative: Thank goodness for the Internet. With a few clicks, one can transport oneself to some wonderful places to explore the world of Needlework of every kind. There were a few topics of “embroidery” interest from weekend browsing that I thought might be fun to share with you all.

If you are not familiar with Thistle Threads you might enjoy heading over to their website and taking a peek around. There is much to peruse and explore. Tricia Nguyen has spent years bringing new needlework supplies to the marketplace for hand embroiderers to use and enjoy. She also offers wonderful classes on Historical Needlework techniques.

Tricia puts out Thistle Threads Newsletter: The Embroiderer’s Story which has exciting and timely information affecting the conservation of needlework and hand embroidery, the manufacturers of precious supplies like goldwork threads, and so much more.  This weekend, Tricia sent out a plea and asked for the help of needleworkers. She has been involved with an extensive new program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that has been developed with us in mind.

Here is a portion of Tricia’s Post and plea for support:

I am thrilled to let you know about a new digital initiative at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The successful 17th-century embroidery exhibition Twixt Art and Nature in 2009 resulted in a treasure trove of amazing conservation photographs of pieces using special techniques by textile conservator Cristina Balloffet Carr.

This is a digital initiative that aims to use social media in a new way – new boards on Pinterest will be added every week, each dedicated to a single object and presenting images that convey technical information.  
The success of this on the part of the museum will be gauged by the number of followers.  So get on there often and be amazed at the unprecedented images.  These are the types of images that are usually reserved for scientific publications and show the closest details of the embroideries.  I am thrilled because access to information like this is usually limited to just a few of us.  I can just imagine the new materials, insights, and inspired embroideries that will come out of this initiative as well as the scholarship that will result from open access to research photography.  Please remember to credit Cristina Carr and the MET in any discourse you have about what you learn from the images.  And you will need to check with the MET on the proper use/credit of images.
Cristina and I have been writing articles on a few of these objects for Inspirations, the first being a sweet bag.  The article is now coming out in the latest issue.  We will be treating a few more objects in future issues.
So please support this!! It is but one of many new educational digital initiatives that will enhance the understanding of embroidery and textiles by the MET and bring them to a broad audience around the world.  To follow and be alerted to new posts of objects, use the “Follow” button on the top of the page.  You will have to have a Pinterest account to do so.
There is a second page on a specific and wonderful exhibit on tapestry and their technologies that is currently running at the MET (my tour group saw it a few weeks ago).  The exhibit has its own Pinterest board and it is really interesting.
A great deal of thanks needs to go out to Tricia for her dedication in preserving not only the knowledge of historical stitches but also for her work in preserving the manufacturers who supply our special silk and goldwork threads.
While this does not directly tie in with Ecclesiastical Embroidery, anytime we can gain knowledge of needlework techniques from the past, it brings an understanding of the rich history that spans generations. And who knows, perhaps the Metropolitan Museum has hidden some wonderful Ecclesiastical Embroidery Treasures that will find their way onto this new interactive site!


Solo Dei Gloria

Be sure to visit our online store front Ecclesiastical Sewing where you may shop for Liturgical Fabrics, altar linen fabrics, church vestment-making patterns, liturgical machine embroidery designschurch vestment trims and notions and so much more. You may also find us on  Ecclesiastical Sewing on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of the page on our online store front and receive a free copy of our Small Linens Booklet as our way of saying thank you for following along.

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