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PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2003 6:01 pm 
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The June 2003 newsletter (25) of the the Oxford Asian Textile Group (OATG) has an article (pages 4-6) by June Hill, Museums Manger (e-mail: June.hill@calderdale.gov.uk ) describing the some of the background to the Bankfield Museum and, in particular, to the Asian collections assembled by Ling Roth, the Museum first curator from 1900. Ling Roth looked to those areas which were still producing textiles by hand at that time. Some of the textiles collected include "examples of contemporary weavings and looms from West and Central Africa, including Showa cloths and related equipment collected in the then Congo by Emile Torday; beadwork neck and body pieces from South Africa; burial fragments from Egypt (first century AD) and Peru (600-900 AD); a Chilkat blanket from north west North America; Barcloths from Fiji, New Guinea and Tonga; and ikat woven cloths from Indonesia."

"Ling Roth's particular interest, however, was in what he termed 'the four Eastern Empires' of Burma, India, China and Japan. He sought to represent aspects of these countries through documentation in his notebooks (still at Bankfield) and through the collections of textiles, spinning wheels, looms and baskets."

"Of these, the most significant material is that from Burma. Acquired by E.C.S. George, a career diplomat working in the country from 1890-1900, this includes an extensive collection of skirts, coats, bags and hats of different peoples from the area: Burmish, Tai and Palaung........"

"Calderdale Museums and Arts continues to add to these collections and has been active in doing so since the late 1970s. Highlights of these recent additions are: a series of ikat weavings from Indonesia, southern Laos and India including a double ikat woven piece; embroideries, costume and decorative hangings from India and Pakistan (cholis, chaklas, hats and body decoration); material from late nineteenth century China acquired by Christian missionaries; basket weavings (containers and headwear) from Indonesia; a banner with caligraphy and rag weaving from Japan; and contemporary baskets and textiles, including prayer flags, from Bhutan..........."

"Examples of the many collections can be seen in the permanent galleries at Bankfield. Others are included in the regular programme of changing exhibitions. Items not on display can be viewed by appointment....."

"Bankfield is on the Boothtown Road (A647) five miles from Halifax town centre. Admission is free and the Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10.00 a.m. - 5. p.m. and on Sundays 2 - 5 p.m. telephone 01422 354823."

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