In 1970, Winterthur author Florence Montgomery authored a textile book that became the seminal reference for designers and decorators. Now, Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles Linda Eaton has finished a modern revision.
Long hailed as a rich, visual resource for designers and decorators, the 1970 classic “Printed Textiles: British and American Cottons and Linens, 1700-1850” has officially been updated. Linda Eaton, the Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles, took on the task, rewriting and updating the tomb with 600 color images.
“People have been asking me for years when Winterthur might update ‘Printed Textiles’ and it has been tremendously exciting to build upon the seminal work of its first author, Florence Montgomery,” Eaton said.
In the 1970’s, the book became the go-to resource by illustrating the social and political influences of the textile trade, offering rare and surprising stories about the origins of designs, textures, patterns and colors women into modern culture. With Eaton’s revision, the book now also offers a thoroughly documented look beyond fabrics and techniques into the broader worlds of commerce and material culture.
From quilts and window curtains to slipcovers and bedhangings, the Winterthur Museum collection includes cotton and linen textiles made or used in America and Britain between 1700 and 1850, many of which were catalogued and photographed for both the original and the updated versions. Considered one of the fastest growing and potentially lucrative trades in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, textiles was on the forefront of developments in science and engineering as well as chemistry and technology. The industry also offers a lens into international trade relations of the time and well as cultural exchange that developed over two centuries.
“People relate to fabrics on a personal level—it’s something everyone can understand and feel, whether they’re wearing fabric, sitting on it, hanging it from curtain rods, admiring it on a sofa or dressing a child,” Eaton explained. “It’s ubiquitous in our lives and intently personal.”
The book will be available for sale Sept. 23, 2014.