Text and Textile

Thursday, May 3, 2018 to Sunday, August 12, 2018

Even as the Fates spin the thread of our lives, text and textile enshroud the body in the fabric of myth, the costume of the domestic or the exotic, the imperatives of the industrious or the industrial.  This exhibition draws on Yale University’s extraordinary collections to explore the intersections of text and textile in literature and politics, from Eve spinning in a thirteenth-century manuscript to the mill girls of New England in the nineteenth century.  Particular highlights include: Gertrude Stein’s waistcoat; manuscript patterns and loom cards from French Jacquard mills; the first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s plays; the “Souper” paper dress by Andy Warhol; American samplers; Renaissance embroidered bindings; Christa Wolf’s “Quilt Memories”; Zelda Fitzgerald’s paper dolls for her daughter; Edith Wharton’s manuscript drafts of “The House of Mirth”; an Incan quipu; poetry by Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Susan Howe, and Walt Whitman; and the Kelmscott Chaucer by William Morris.

Curators: Kathryn James, Melina Moe, Katie Trumpener

Keynote address: Wednesday, May 23, 5 pm; Pink: The History of a Color, Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology

This exhibition is accompanied by an exhibition, Text & Textile in Arts Library Special Collections at the Robert B. Haas Arts Library at Yale, and by a thematic wall display of works in the Long Gallery at the Yale Center for British Art.