February 2nd – March 5th, 2010
Textiles can tell us a lot about a culture, its history and relationship to the world. Beginning February 2 at the Florence Museum people will be able to explore the diverse approaches to the textile arts in an exhibit titled Uncommon Threads: Textile Arts from Central Asia to Central America. Many of the works in this exhibit were once functional objects and, as such, would be widely categorized as crafts. “When we look at contemporary crafts, especially from a westernized perspective, there is tendency to evaluate them according to how they might reflect an artist’s individual expression,” said museum curator, Stephen Motte.
“With the traditional textile arts of many indigenous peoples, however, the emphasis was not on personal expression, but rather on sustaining and preserving the identity of the culture group.”
Though a few of the textiles on exhibit may reveal the explicit and implicit decorative intentions of the people who made them, the real stories they tell are best understood in the context of the cultures from which they came. Because the environmental elements and social conditions of each society are different, the objects they produce are indicative of the ways these factors infuse their material culture.
Uncommon Threads is an exhibit that brings these stories closer to the surface by looking at the textile arts of these cultures and the conditions that make them unique. The exhibit will conclude March 3.