Beinecke show examines how text and textiles ‘ask us to remember’

May 3, 2018

Text and Textile,” on view at Beinecke Library from May 3 through Aug. 12, explores the intersections of text and textile in literature and politics, from images of Eve spinning in a 13th-century manuscript to the mill girls of New England in the 19th century. 

The exhibition features works in a wide variety of formats drawn from throughout each of the Beinecke library’s curatorial areas, as well as items from the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, and the Manuscripts and Archives Department of the Yale University Library.

Particular highlights include: Gertrude Stein’s waistcoat; manuscript patterns and loom cards from French Jacquard mills; the first folio edition of William Shakespeare’s plays; the “Souper” paper dress by Andy Warhol; American samplers; Renaissance embroidered bindings; Christa Wolf’s “Quilt Memories; Zelda Fitzgerald’s paper dolls for her daughter; Edith Wharton’s manuscript drafts of “The House of Mirth; an Incan quipu; poetry by Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Susan Howe, and Walt Whitman; and “The Kelmscott Chaucer” by William Morris.

The exhibition was conceived by Kathryn James, curator of Early Modern Books and Manuscripts and the Osborn Collection at the Beinecke Library, and Katie Trumpener, the Emily Sanford Professor of Comparative Literature and English. It is co-curated by James, Trumpener, and Melina Moe, research affiliate at the library.

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