Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



From Textiles as Primary Sources: Proceedings of the First Symposium of the Textile Society of America, Minneapolis Institute of Art, September 16-18, 1988


Copyright © 1988 by the author(s).


Susan Anderson Hay announced the publication of A World of Costume and Textiles: A Handbook of the Collection at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. Written by 13 authors, the book illustrates and describes 113 of the most important textiles and costumes in this superb collection. Begun in the 1870s with the founding of the Museum of Art, the textile and costume collection contains about 14,000 textiles and 6,000 examples of costume. It ranges from ancient Egyptian linen to contemporary Japanese artists' textiles and includes everything from colorful African Rente cloths to the early sixteenth century Flemish tapestry that appears on the cover of the book. RISD's collection of textiles from ancient Peru, its American ethnographic textiles, its printed textiles from India and the West, and its 20th century American textiles and costume are particularly important, and the well-documented Lucy Truman Aldrich collection of 18th and 19th century robes from Japan used in the performance of the Noh drama is among the very best in the United States. Scholars are invited to visit the collection, which is a repository of much uninvestigated primary material.

The book includes a history of the collection written by Susan Anderson Hay and an extensive bibliography. Publication was supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency; additional funding was supplied by William H. Harris Co.