Description: The exhibition of over 100 works of art and artifacts includes a wide variety of textiles, and examples of craftwork in leather, metal, glass, jewelry, felt, stone and clay. Textiles span a range of uses, including camel bags, pillows, curtains, fans, hats, shoes and window hangings. Metal wares cover a gamut from silver and brass vessels, jewelry, and braziers to drinking and cooking vessels and inlaid trays. Wooden objects include antique wood lattice windows from Egypt (mushrabbiya). The exhibition features works of art drawn from the Gray Henry collection, whose family has had a presence in Egypt since 1925.
Description: In conjunction with the 2013 Allen R. Hite Memorial Lecture, Professors Caroline Arscott and Jongwoo Jeremy Kim will hold a public conversation on Modern art, victorian science, and the body from 10-11am.
Description: Arscott will deliver an Evening Lecture from 6-7 pm. This lecture discusses William Morris’s adoption of tapestry in
the 1880s in terms of its allegorisation of the losses and gains of
both historical and biological processes. Colour and its role in
the natural world, as discussed in evolutionary theory provides
a focus. The processes of tapestry itself, the movement of the
shuttle and positioning of the weft and the gradual building up
of the image are considered in relation to the prophetic mode
deployed by Morris in the verses written on his tapestries
published in his Poems By the Way of 1891. The lecture centres
on the example of the tapestry The Woodpecker (1885, exhibited
1888) where Morris’s woodpecker motif refers to the story of Picus
from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The context of metamorphosis
leads to a discussion of the woodpecker’s significance in that
Victorian revisiting of metamorphosis, Charles Darwin’s theory of
evolution. This is contextualised by a discussion of other Victorian
theorisations of evolution and the evolutionary emergence of
consciousness. The lecture discusses the morphology of form
and the sequence of substitutions involved in sexual selection:
the move from a reliance on the power of song to a recourse
to instrumental music, and then a further move to the use of
coloured display in creatures seeking an advantage in courtship.
The declarative and the tacit aspects of Morris’s tapestry are
addressed in order to assess the potential for the elaboration
of grand themes in a form of art that seemingly abjures the
grandiose theatre of human action.