Europe

Europe

The Roman Catholic dioscese of Münster (Germany) was established in AD 804 and the building of the present Dom (cathedral) was commenced in the early thirteenth century. The Dom and its contents were badly damaged in the Second World War (1939-1945), and as a result it does not have the wide range of textiles and related items that can be found in other European cathedrals.

The San Marco Basilica in Venice, Italy, houses a small number of important medieval and later textiles and garments. Their location in the basilica is indicated in a separate digital map (click here).

The Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht is the Dutch national museum for Christian art and heritage. It was opened in 1979. In addition to an outstanding collection of Roman Catholic and Protestant sculptures, paintings and books, the Museum houses one of the world’s most important reference collections of Dutch late medieval church vestments.

The Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, Oslo (Norway), was founded in 1876 and is one of the oldest official museums in Norway. Locally called the Kunstindustrimuseet, it is regarded as one of the oldest applied art and design museums in Europe. It moved to its current location in 1904. In 2003 the museum became part of the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design.

The Museum of Textiles (Musée des Tissus), Lyons, France, is one of the world’s most important museums dedicated to textiles and dress. It is actually half of a double museum, one of which is called the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Decorative Arts Museum), and the other the Musée des Tissus (Museum of Textiles).

The collection of the Museum Volkenkunde, Leiden (the Netherlands) is for a large part based on the Koninklijk Kabinet van Zeldzaamheden (‘the Royal Cabinet of Rarities’), which was established in 1816 in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Kabinet was in its turn built on a general royal collection of objects and a private collection of Chinese artefacts. The Kabinet closed in 1883 and its collection was moved to Leiden.

According to the Museum’s website, the decorative arts and history section of the National Museum of Ireland has a large collection of Irish and European lace, including equipment, specimens and objects (garments). The museum is particularly strong on mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth century Irish lace, having acquired items directly from Irish lace schools, co-operatives and exhibitions.

The Newberry Collection of Islamic Embroideries forms part of a much larger group of medieval textiles that were collected in Egypt in the early twentieth century by the Egyptologist, Percy E. Newberry. The textiles were donated to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford in 1941.

The Northampton Borough Council’s Northampton Museum & Art Gallery houses the largest collection of objects relating to history of shoes in the world. It includes 12000 shoes and 50000 archival records including documentary footage and fine art.

The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London, is more commonly known just as the Petrie Museum. It was set up as a teaching resource for the Department of Archaeology and Philology, University College London (UCL). The department and the museum were established in 1892 as a result of a bequest by the English writer and traveller, Amelia Edwards (1831-1892).

The Prato Textile Museum (Museo del Tessuto di Prato), Prato, Tuscany, Italy, houses thousands of textiles from Italy, Europe and from the rest of the world. The most ancient conserved textiles are from the pre-Columbian burials and from Coptic Christian Egypt. The collection of Italian Renaissance textiles is one of the most important in the world.

The Rijksmuseum ('National Museum') was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to various buildings in Amsterdam in 1808 and later. The current building in Amsterdam was opened in 1885. It houses a large collection of objects that reflect Dutch culture, from the medieval period onwards. Especially its collection of Dutch seventeenth century masters is world-famous.

The Sens Museum, Treasure and Palais Synodal (the Sens Museums / Musées de Sens) are housed in the former Archbishop's Palace of Sens, France. It includes the cathedral treasure, which is one of the richest in France and houses costly textiles and religious vestments, ivory objects and silverware.

The Textile Museum (Textilmuseet) of Sweden is since 2010 located in the Textile Fashion Center, in Borås, Sweden. Its collection mainly consists of garments and textiles from West Sweden, but also contains items from other parts of the country and beyond. There is also an extensive sample and reference collection.

The Textile Museum at St. Gallen reflects the intriguing history of the huge local embroidery industry that developed here, mainly following the invention and introduction of hand machine embroidery machines in the early nineteenth century.

The Textile Research Centre Leiden (TRC) is a non-profit making organisation dedicated to the study of textiles and dress. The TRC was set up in December 1991. For many years it was housed in the National Museum of Ethnology, Leiden, The Netherlands. Since 2009 it is housed in its own premises in the historic centre of Leiden, at Hogewoerd 164.

'The World of Hat', Ethnic Museum (sic) is the name of a specialist ethnographical museum that was opened in Riga, Latvia, in 2014. The museum is based on the private headgear collection of the Latvian anthropologist, linguist and traveller, Kirill Babaev. The collection was started in 2002 and now contains over 400 items.

The Topkapi Palace in Istanbul was the centre of Ottoman power from 1465 until 1853, when the sultan moved his court to the Dolmabahçe Palace. In 1924 the Topkapi Palace was made into a museum. It houses a large collection of the sultans' and the princes' clothing, representing the finest examples of Ottoman textile production and needlework.

ULITA Archive of International Textiles is housed in St Wilfred’s Chapel, on the Western Campus of the University of Leeds, England. The purpose of the archive is to collect, preserve and document textiles and related items from many of the textile producing areas of the world for the benefit of scholars, researchers and the general public.

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