European Gallery 271, second floor
This installation features a selection of ecclesiastical vestments and embroideries made by professional embroiders and master weavers whose work was regulated by Europe's elite craft guilds. The earliest embroidery is a rare mid-fourteenth century Florentine orphrey illustrating scenes form the life of Christ. This has been reapplied to a mid-fifteenth century cut and voided velvet, a common practice throughout the centuries which attests to the extent ecclesiastical embroideries were treasured. Included in the installation are three chasubles from Italy, Germany, and France, which are distinguished by their silk and gold-thread floral embroidery and represent some of the finest embroidery from the eighteenth century.
Dilys Blum • Curator of Costume and Textiles