2015 Annual Veronika Gervers Memorial Lecture at Royal Ontario Museum Tuesday June, 23, 7-8pm
Free. RSVP Required.
The Indian Ocean has been called the “Cradle of Globalization.” From ancient times, people and goods moved around the shores of this vast region stretching from Indonesia in the East to Africa in the West. Everywhere, the most highly desired trade item were the printed cottons made in India. With their vivid colours and beautiful patterns, these Indian cottons caused a fashion sensation in Europe, too, after 1600.
This lecture explores the ROM’s unknown, early collection of Indian cotton textiles that were traded to Egypt in medieval times. It considers their intriguing designs and how they were made, and places them within the wider Indian Ocean trade of the time. The early genius of India’s textile manufacturers in producing for a vast variety of regional markets is discussed, together with the remarkable range of social roles they came to play in the societies that imported them.
Speaker: Dr. Ruth Barnes is Senior Curator of the Yale University Art Gallery’s newly endowed Department of Indo-Pacific Art. She is a leading expert on the textile arts of Indonesia and India, the author of award winning books on the topics. Her 1997 publication Indian Block-Printed Textiles in Egypt deeply enhanced our understanding of the history of Indian textiles.
The Research Fellowship is supported by a memorial fund established in 1979 to commemorate the noted ROM curator and textile scholar, Veronika Gervers, to promote scholarly research that incorporates the ROM’s textile and costume collections. The Fellowship is open to Ph.D. candidates and international scholars whose research can make direct use of, or support, any part of the Museum’s collections. Successful Gervers candidates are selected by a committee of both museum and university scholars. Senior Curator Dr. Alexandra Palmer, of the ROM’s Textiles & Costume department, and herself a former Gervers Fellow, chairs the committee.
This event is presented by the Veronika Gervers Research Fellowship.