Friday, October 10, 2014

UK Museums - Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

The reason I put Oxford on my itinerary was “The Eye of the Needle” exhibit at theAshmolean Museum. Entry to the Ashmolean is free, but this special exhibit was six pounds.  The exhibit showcased a number of 17th century embroideries from the Feller collection and from the Ashmolean’s holdings.  I was amazed that embroidery from the 1600’s were still in existence. Many of the pieces depicted religious themes to demonstrate the technical abilities of the girls and women who stitched them.  Photos were not allowed, but even if they had been, the room was dimly lit and the stitches tiny so they would not have been clear anyway. I bought the postcards from the gift shop, but all of the items in the exhibit were not available as postcards.

 



The day I visited the exhibit, I noticed a small sign in the gift shop advertising a lecture the next day being given by the curator of the exhibit, Dr. Mary Brooks, so I bought a ticket (four pounds).  The lecture was titled “Exploring the Making of the 17th Century Needlework.” The lecture explored the context in which embroideries were made in the home and the schoolroom and included a slideshow of photos from the Feller Collection.  It was well worth the cost of admission.

In addition to the special exhibit, the museum also has 17th century English embroideries from the museum’s collection in the Textile Gallery on level 1.  It was an amazing exhibit.

2 comments:

  1. I am so glad, and envious, that you got to see this exhibition. I would have stood and drooled over the stumpwork chest for ages!

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  2. Lucky you, I would love to be able to see those!

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