Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York
October 20, 2015 – January 10, 2016
The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620, an exhibition of printed pattern books, drawings, textile samples, costumes, paintings, and various other works of art that evoke the colorful world of Renaissance textile pattern books.
Starting in the 1520s, small booklets with textile patterns were published regularly, and these pocket-size, easy-to-use publications became an instant success, essentially forming the first fashion publications. Similar to the mood boards of today, users of the pattern books tore out the pages and pasted or nailed them to workroom walls for inspiration.
The Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Drawings and Prints boasts one of the world’s most important collections of early textile pattern books. The last time these books were featured in an exhibition at the Museum was in 1938, when the collection was established. Recent conservation work on these books has provided the opportunity to highlight this remarkable collection and focus on the interesting stories the books tell about textile pattern design,enterprises in early book publishing,and artistic exchange throughout Europe.
Fashion and Virtue opens October 20th, 2015.