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PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:46 pm 
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Location: California, USA
The San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art is having an exhibit of Lao textiles from January 14 to April 25, 2004.

The Museum is closed Mondays, and open on other days from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The Friends of Ethnic Arts scheduled a program yesterday, (Sunday, January 18), which included both a lecture by Ms Cassidy, and a guided tour of the exhibit.

Of the talks, I can say little, except that the cumulative effect was to frame Carol Cassidy as the only person with prior interest in Lao textiles before she introduced them in the West. A friend remarked on her almost Mao like simplicity of dress- unlike Patricia Cheeseman and others giving lectures on Tai textiles (including me, but of course I'm neither in Ms Cheeseman's or Ms Cassidy's league) who normally drip with exotica publicly, she was unadorned with any silk.

She has installed several of her weavers at a loom within the museum, implying that weaving is so difficult, on needs to be a member of Mensa to do it! (Nothing wrong with that; husband got to talk Lao for a while.)

Now to the exhibit. There are only a few examples of antique textiles, including a pha sin on loan from Tilickey & Gibbons, a long-established law firm in Bangkok, with an amazing collection of antique pieces. The few examples of Hmong and Mien costumes, while clearly peripheral, were also poorly chosen.

The space in the museum is smaller than I remember, and it was chocker-block full of Cassidy's modern silk textiles; beautifully designed and crafted, hanging on the walls.

Rather than fork down $39.95 for the catalog, I purchased ($20) "Beyond Tradition: Lao Textiles Revisited--The Handwoven Textiles of Carol Cassidy" the catalog from a 1995 exhibit at the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Actually, the Museum of Craft & Folk Art is a treasure. There are books on Philipine textiles, among others. To contact them, go to:

www.mocfa.org

Sandie


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 Post subject: thanks Sandie!
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:18 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Location: Canterbury, UK
Sandie

Thanks very much for sharing information of this exhibition and also for your comments on the Museum of Craft & Folk Art in San Frnancisco.

Your posting of information on the Lao textiles exhibition and various comments in your inimitable style are very timely - particular thanks for that!

I have just updated the http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Countrie ... _shops.htm page and there is information there on Lao Textiles, Carol Cassidy's workshop in Vientiane. (I was surprised to find from the Lonely Planet info on CC's workshop that the looms being used by her weavers are Swedish not Lao.) I am attaching a photo of a small silk picture of a Siho which came from Carol Cassidy's workshop (mount signed by her) and which I purchased in Singapore. The original is much finer than shows in the photos as I did not want to remove it from its very nice mounting and framing.

You mention that there is a textile from the Tilleke & Gibbins Textile Collection in the exhibition - see my post on my October 2003 visit to their collection http://www.tribaltextiles.info/communit ... c.php?t=73 after Richard Mook had alerted us to the T&G Collection back in June last year. See also my Thailand textile collections information: http://www.tribaltextiles.info/Countrie ... ctions.htm. T&G's curator has joined our forum as a member and kindly alerted me to the latest US Lao travel warning after being copied on it.

OK - trailer for lots of links is over!! Thanks again Sandie!

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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 Post subject: mythic animals
PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:14 pm 
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Location: California, USA
Thanks Pamela for all the information you added on to my comments. Yes, the weavers use a vertical loom, and also weave the supplementary weft simultaneously with the basic textile. Of course, the use of a Swedish loom allows for a wider weft, although many of her textiles still feature the narrower one characteristic of all Tai groups.

However, what you have on your gorgeous textile are two mythic animals. The lion with an elephant trunk is properly called a "khosa singh", found thoughout mainland SEAsia. The "male figure" is called a "kop" or frog (man), and is one of the oldest and widespread of all Dong Son motifs. Some scholars actually place it pre-Dong Son. It is found with some variation thoughout island SEAsian, and is prominent in the ikats of the Lesser Sunda islands.

Historically, the "kop" was seldom found on a textile containing a diamond motif, although that seems to no longer be true. The diamond itself used to be a symbol of Mahayana Buddhism in Laos, an area where the overwhelming religion is Theravada Buddhism.

The T-G curator, I believe, came to one of my last talks in Bangkok. Their collection is in very capable hands.

Sandie


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2004 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
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Thanks Sandie for the information on the mythical creatures on the weaving. (I was quoting from the information stuck to the back of the Carol Cassidy framed textile.)

I thought that you might like the weaving as I know that you are interested in animals in weaving and I think that the frog man is one with which you particuarly identify.

Probably the T&G curator who came to your last talk in Bangkok was the curator prior to the one currently in post because I think that Wipawee is more recently in post.

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Pamela

http://www.tribaltextiles.info
on-line tribal textiles resource


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