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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 9:27 am 

Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 7:45 am
Posts: 142
If you happen to be in the southern US this summer you might want to have a look at this show. Release from the museum website. (web link including photos from the exhibit ... tiles.html )
The Birmingham Museum of Art
Amongst the Clouds: Textiles of the Miao People from Southwest China
From the collection of Susan Weitzman Conway
On view June 4 through August 27, 2006

The Miao people, the largest of China's ethnic minorities, trace their history back 5,000 years to China's Yellow River Valley. Their early history tells of famine, wars, separations and migrations. Finally, they settled in seven mountainous provinces where they lived, until recently, in relative isolation. Spread among the mist shrouded mountains, the Miao developed a unique and lively culture over the past two thousand years.

The Miao traditions include a distinct and an exceptional love of embroidered textiles. Their minute stitching in brightly colored threads and braids are sometimes highlighted with tassels and silver. The embroidery of each piece tells a story that can be read by those who know how to interpret them. For example, the Miao believe they are the descendants of birds and butterflies, so these frequently appear in their embroideries.

Curated by Donald Wood, Ph.D., Chief Curator and Virginia & William M. Spencer III Curator of Asian Art of the Birmingham Museum of Art, the pieces in the exhibition are drawn from the collection of Susan Weitzman Conway, a long-time collector of textiles from the Miao. Her extensive collection contains not only everyday men's and women's wear, but also superb festival and ceremonial costumes. The collection also includes delicately embroidered baby carriers and blankets, festival banners, hats, shoes, and a variety of exquisitely worked silver jewelry. One of the most significant holdings of such material in the United States, this is the first exhibition of Ms. Conway's collection.[/i]

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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2006 10:05 am 
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Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2003 1:42 pm
Posts: 1995
Location: Canterbury, UK

Many thanks for this post. I had thought that I had already posted info on this exhibition but I must have been so disappointed when Susan Stem pointed it out to me that it was the 'wrong' Birmingham (spoken as a Brit who would like to see the exhibition) that I did not get around to posting.

I have pasted the web link into Steven's post and I direct members to have a look at the bottom 2 photos shown, especially the last hat - which were the ones that Susan directed me towards. Then have a look at this thread ... .php?t=198

The attribution of the BMA shown hat as 'circa 1900, Miao People, An Shun area, Guizhou Province' still leaves many questions. Having visited a couple of Miao groups in this area they were clearly not the 'right' ones!

on-line tribal textiles resource

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