We’ve now had a week to digest the photos, the fashion, and the inevitable memes of Met Gala 2018. Hopefully a week has been enough time to take in the weird, wonderful, and worshipful experience that was this year’s annual fundraiser for the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. Each year the gala’s theme is based on the Institute’s summer exhibition, and on 10 May Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination opened at both the Met’s 5th Avenue and Cloisters locations. Kim Kardashian was compared to a Eucharist chalice, haloes abounded, and ‘Rihanna going full pope’ is now a phrase.
The end of term is in sight and the days are getting longer. And that means we’re all daydreaming of summer. Whether your summer plans call for research or relaxation, take advantage of some stellar temporary exhibitions happening around the globe that are highlighting the production, context, and craftsmanship of medieval art. These exhibitions are pushing boundaries, considering new contexts, and boasting bold feats—several of these exhibitions present artworks on view in North America and Europe for the first time. Let us know your favourites by sharing your thoughts in the comments below. Happy Summer!
Call for Papers: The Economy of Dress and Textiles: Avenues of Trade, Production and
Consumption in the Early Modern Period
University of Bologna, Dipartimento di Storia Culture e Civiltà, San
Giovanni in Monte, Bologna, Italy, September 15, 2016
Deadline: Apr 30, 2016
The cloth and textile market is of central importance to the late
medieval and early modern economy. Trade routes, centres of production
and patterns of consumption were determining factors that stimulated
the influx of luxury cloth and textiles into established fashion and
textile markets, while second-hand garments developed their own
trajectory. Being sold at auctions and dealer shops, they sometimes
enjoyed a second life and were often refashioned. The entire cost
related to the fashioning of a garment, which comprised the purchase of
raw materials and tailoring expenses, is a reflection of the journey
and provenance of the relevant textiles, furs and haberdashery prior to
their shaping and consumption. In turn, the respective markets for both
low-end and high-end goods also played an important role in social and
cultural life, as the cost, display and representations of dress
emphasised the wealth and social and political status of the wearer.
The conference aims to generate a discussion about the economy of dress
and textiles in relation to the connection between trade, production,
consumption and the cost and status of low-end and high-end goods in
the late medieval and early modern periods.
PhD students and early career researchers are invited to speak about
the economy of dress and textiles from a variety of perspectives in
order to build a more complete picture of their journey both literal
and figurative from raw materials to fully fledged garments that
sometimes get refashioned.
Submission: potential speakers are invited to submit as a
single document: (1) a 300-word paper abstract, which should include
the main question of the research project, (2) a paper title, (3) a
brief curriculum vitae, (4) institutional affiliations and (5) contact
information to the Dressing the Early Modern Network at
Each speaker will be allotted twenty minutes. The deadline for
submissions is 30 April 2016. Notification of the outcome will be
advised by e-mail on or before 15 May 2016.
Please note that funding is not provided for this event, so
participants will be required to fund and arrange their own travel and
INAUGURAL LECTURE: PROFESSOR EVELYN WELCH, Fashionable goods in Early Modern Europe, 1550-1700
- Great Hall King’s Building Strand Campus
- When: 05/03/2014 (18:30)
- This event is open to all and free to attend, but booking is required via our Eventbrite page.
- Registration URL: http://evelynwelch.eventbrite.co.uk
Thinking through things:
An Inaugural Lecture by Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice Principal (Arts & Sciences)
The Victoria & Albert Museum has two late seventeenth-century dolls known as ‘Lord and Lady Clapham’ on display. Wearing Chinese silks, fine lace head-dresses, kimono-style banyans and carrying full face masks, gaming bags, the two figures represented the height of what was regarded as fashionable in Europe in around 1692. But how did these goods and styles become so desirable and spread so quickly across so many countries?
This lecture looks at a range of fashionable items, goods that took on iconic status in England, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and Scandinavia focusing on what we can learn by studying the things themselves. Drawing on research undertaken as part of a major collaborative research project, ‘Fashioning the Early Modern: Creativity and Innovation in Europe, 1500-1800’ (www.fashioningtheearlymodern.ac.uk) funded by the Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA), it looks at ruffs, tippets, muffs, masks and other fashions which spread, disappeared and re-emerged in different guises between 1550 and 1700. Now often dismembered, buried and forgotten, it is only by bringing together the surviving objects and their representations that we can begin to explore how fashion worked in Early Modern Europe.
Professor Welch graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Renaissance History and Literature (Magna cum Laude) and received her PhD from the Warburg Institute, University of London. She has taught at the Universities of Essex, Birkbeck, Sussex and Queen Mary, University of London, where she served as Dean of Arts and Vice-Principal for Research and International Affairs before taking on the role of Vice-Principal for Arts & Sciences at King’s College London. Professor Welch has led a range of major research programmes including The Material Renaissance which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Getty Foundation and Beyond Text: Performances, Sounds, Images, Objects, a £5.5 million AHRC strategic research programme which ran from 2005-2012. She has published extensively on European art and material culture between 1300 and 1700 including books such as Art in Renaissance Italy, (Oxford, 200), Shopping in the Renaissance (Yale, 2005) and Making and Marketing Medicine in Renaissance Florence (Rodopi, 2011). Professor Welch currently serves as a trustee of the Victoria & Albert Museum where she chairs the collections committee.