Tag Archives: Opus Anglicanum

New Publication: The Age of Opus Anglicanum

hmseme_1THE AGE OF OPUS ANGLICANUM  Edited by M.A. Michael

240 p., 5 b/w ills, 185 col. ills, , 225 x 300 mm, 2016, ISBN 978-1-909400-41-2

From Harvey Miller Publishers, an imprint of Brepols Publishers

This book attempts to re-assess the importance of English medieval embroidery as a unique cultural phenomenon.

 

This volume, the first to appear in a series of Studies in English Medieval Embroidery, contains the papers delivered at a Symposium held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in February 2013, which was designed to re-vitalize research and public awareness of a significant medium of medieval art.

During the period which has become known as the great age of Opus Anglicanum between c.1200 and 1400, kings, popes and high ranking prelates all over Europe vied with each other in their desire to own English medieval embroidery. Such vestments were first mentioned as ‘English Work’ (Opus Anglicanum) in the papal archives because of their distinctive style rather than their technique – although most also display skilful use of gold embroidery in what is known as ‘underside couching’, a method of embroidering silver-gilt thread so that it is both pliable and displays the maximum amount of thread on the surface of the garment. The imagery achieved in this special medium is comparable with the luxurious illuminated manuscripts produced in England during the Middle Ages and forms a repository of some unique iconography.

The essays included here break new ground in the understanding of both liturgical and secular embroidery, covering topics such as interesting iconographic aspects found in Opus Anglicanum; hitherto unpublished data from the royal accounts of Edward III related to commissions and payments to embroiderers and embroideresses; and a detailed study of late medieval English palls accompanied by a Handlist of the major extant examples. Of particular importance is the inclusion of the Evelyn Thomas Collection of pre-digital images of Opus Anglicanum work, now digitized in its entirety at the Princeton Index of Christian Art.

The wealth of illustrations in this volume – over 180 images and comparative material from other forms of medieval art – are all in full colour.

Dr M.A. Michael is a professorial Fellow of the University of Glasgow and Academic Director at Christie’s Education. He has published widely on English medieval manuscripts, stained glass and panel painting.

Table of Contents: www.brepols.net

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New Exhibition and Events: Opus Anglicanum, Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, V&A Museum, 1 October 2016 – 5 February 2017

opus anglicanum to deleteNew Exhibition: Opus Anglicanum: Masterpieces of English Medieval Embroidery, Victoria and Albert Museum, 1 October 2016 – 5 February 2017

From the 12th to the 15th centuries, England enjoyed an international reputation for the quality of its luxury embroideries, and were frequently referred to as ‘Opus Anglicanum’ (English work). Often featuring complex imagery, and ambitious in their scale and intricacy, they were sought after by kings, queens, popes and cardinals across Europe. This exhibition is the first opportunity in over half a century to see an outstanding range of surviving examples in one place. Paintings, illuminated manuscripts, metalwork and stained glass will be shown alongside, to explore the world within which these exquisite works were created.

Luxury embroideries were made by professional craftsmen and women living in the City of London, some of whom we can still identify by name. London was a hub for commerce, and the embroiderers formed part of an international mercantile network. The rare survivals of this extraordinary period of English art are today scattered across Europe and North America. Some of the embroideries have not been seen in Britain since they were produced.

Book now: vam.ac.uk/opus


 

lossy-page1-1024px-web2c_grevens_sc3a4ngkammare-_detalj2c_grevens_sc3a4ng_-_skoklosters_slott_-_88043-tifEnglish Medieval Embroidery Unpicked, day course, The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre @V&A Museum, Saturday 12 November 2016

STUDY DAY: This study day explores the world of England’s Medieval luxury embroideries, known as Opus Anglicanum. We will examine their materials, techniques and design; the patrons and artists involved; and the extraordinary images depicted on them.

During the later Middle Ages, England enjoyed an international reputation for its luxury embroideries, produced for Europe’s greatest patrons including kings, queens, cardinals and popes. This study day will put embroideries in the exhibition Opus Anglicanum: Masters of Medieval Embroidery under the microscope, examining their materials, techniques and design; the patrons and artists involved; and exploring the extraordinary images depicted on them. Leading experts in the field will discuss these questions in what promises to be a fascinating afternoon.

With exhibition curators Glyn Davies and Sally Dormer.

14.00 – 16.30, Saturday 12 November 2016

£35 full, £30 concessions, £15 students


 20160719161621_170Opus Anglicanum: An Introduction to Silk & Gold Embroidery, Workshop, Art Studio @V&A Museum, Saturday 12 November, 10.30 – 16.30

WORKSHOP: Learn the secrets behind the beautiful embroidery techniques of Opus Anglicanum as seen in this exhibition. Sarah will guide you step by step through split stitch fillings, surface couching and underside couching with gold threads on an Opus Anglicanum inspired piece of your own, in this one day introduction to medieval embroidery. All materials included.

Saturday 12 November, 10.30 – 16.30

£92.00, £73.60 concessions

(Lead Image: The Steeple Aston Cope 1330-40 (detail). The Rector and Churchwardens of St Peter and St Paul, Steeple Aston, Oxfordshire. On long term loan to the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.)

Nearness|Rift: Art and Time in the Textiles of Medieval Britain (16 April 2016)

Opus-AnglicanumNearness | Rift: Art and Time in the Textiles of Medieval Britain will gather a multidisciplinary group of scholars to address a range of historiographical and methodological problems implicit in the study of textiles, and to discuss new case studies from medieval Britain.

The colloquium will take place during the morning and afternoon of April 16, 2016 in Cochrane-Woods 157 on the University of Chicago campus. (Please enter the building through the north doors rather than through the Smart Museum courtyard.)

9:30 – 10:00 AM: Coffee.

10:00 – 10:15 AM: Introduction by Luke A. Fidler (Doctoral Student, Department of Art History, University of Chicago).

10:1511:15 AM: Keynote lecture by Thomas E. A. Dale (Professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison): “Materiality, Metaphor and the Senses: Elite Textile Cultures of Medieval England in their Global Contexts.”

11:30 AM12:15 PM: Valerie Garver (Associate Professor of History, Northern Illinois University): “Garments as Means of Communication Between Anglo-Saxon England and the Carolingian World.”

Respondent: Tristan Sharp (Doctoral Student, Department of History, University of Chicago).

12:15 – 1:30 PM: Lunch.

1:30 – 2:15 PM: Christina Normore (Assistant Professor of Art History, Northwestern University): “The Outlier as Exemplar: The ‘Bayeux Tapestry’ in English Textile History.”

Respondent: Carly B. Boxer (Doctoral Student, Department of Art History, University of Chicago).

2:30 – 3:15 PM: Claire Jenson (Doctoral Candidate, Department of Art History, University of Chicago): “Exeter’s Vesture: John Grandisson on Vestments in the Liturgy.”

Respondent: Karin Krause (Assistant Professor of Byzantine Theology and Visual Culture, University of Chicago).

3:15 – 3:30 PM: Coffee.

3:45 – 4:15 PM: Nancy Feldman (Lecturer in Art History, Theory, and Criticism, School of the Art Institute of Chicago): “Cultural Politics and the Term Opus Anglicanum in Late Medieval England.”

Respondent: Julie Orlemanski (Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, University of Chicago).

4:15 – 5:00 PM: Closing remarks by Aden Kumler (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Chicago) and final discussion.