Friday, October 11
Save the Date! Special ticketed event celebrating the closing of The Textile Museum galleries in anticipation of the museum's 2014 reopening at the George Washington University. More details will be announced soon.
Saturday, October 12
The Phillips Collection Auditorium
1600 21st Street, NW
Morning Presentations: 9:45 AM–12:00 PM
Moderator: Joel Kuipers, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs, The George Washington University
• Indonesian Textile Studies: Past, Present, and Future
Sarong, Indonesia, Lembata, Lama Lerap, late 19th century. TM 68.19. Acquired by George Hewitt Myers in 1957.
Ruth Barnes, Ph.D.
Senior Curator of Indo-Pacific Art, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
Dr. Ruth Barnes will offer an overview of Indonesian textile studies, from the early twentieth century when the field was initiated in the Netherlands, to new directions in ethnographic and historical enquiry from the 1980s onwards. Inevitable social changes in Southeast Asia have yielded changes to the production of the region’s traditional arts, including its textile traditions. The lecture will explore the effect of these changes on the study of weaving and textiles, and offer possible new approaches to research.
Man's shoulder or hip cloth (sikalau namilau), Fataluku people. Tutuala, Lautem, Timor Leste (East Timor). Photo by Jill Forshee, 2010.
• The Reckoning of the World: Weavers’ Stories from East Timor
Jill Forshee, Ph.D.
Cultural Anthropologist, Columbia College,
East Timor gained national independence from Indonesia in 1999, ending twenty-five years of internal warfare and resistance. Today, East Timor is the poorest country in Southeast Asia, with a long history of rule by outside forces. Yet life’s creations and explanations carry on, as people struggle to maintain personal, cultural, and clan identities within a new nationalism and increasing forms of globalization. Local histories are central to these identities, and Dr. Jill Forshee has been conducting original fieldwork in East Timor over the past twelve years. The stories she’s collected reveal much about the local people’s histories of struggle and violence, as well as the persistence of cultural expressions such as textile arts and folklore through time. Forshee’s lecture will touch upon a few weavers’ stories of the significance of cloth and events in their lives over the past sixty years.
Detail of a shaman’s cloth with elephant motifs (phaa mau phii),
Laos, Hua Phan Province, Tai Daeng People,
ca. 1900–1950. TM 1991.18.1. Ruth Lincoln
Fisher Memorial Fund.
• When an Elephant is more than an Elephant: Lao-Tai Textiles in Ritual Context
Ellison Findly, Ph.D.
Professor, Religion and Asian Studies, Trinity College, Hartford, CT
The textiles of the Lao-Tai in northeastern Laos range from everyday indigo cotton shirts and pants to elaborately woven supplementary weft pieces like shawls and headcloths that are used by shamans in ritually charged settings. The uniqueness of these textiles are the figural designs that fill every inch of space. It would be easy if the weaver could say, "this design is used in this textile, by this shaman, in this ritual," but that is not the case. In almost every instance, each weaver has a unique view about meaning, colored by her age and experience, religious affiliation, family background, and imagination. Findly’s talk will explore the pleasures and difficulties of working with multivalence of meaning and use in a cultural setting that, in modern times, is changing at a rapid rate.
Lunch: 12:00–2:00 PM
Lunch is on your own; a list of area restaurants will be provided.
Afternoon Presentations: 2:00–5:00 PM
Moderator: Christina Fink, Ph.D., Professor of Practice in International Affairs, The George Washington University
.• Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company:
Jim Thompson. Courtesy of Jim Thompson Silk Company.
The History, Mystery, and Promise of the Future
Director of Sales and Marketing, Jim Thompson America, Atlanta, GA
For over half a century, Jim Thompson Thai Silk Company has enjoyed a reputation as a legendary manufacturer of Thai silk. It is also the largest producer of hand-woven fabrics in the world today—complete with a company mulberry plantation, silkworm farm, art center, museum, and retail shops. Tim Johnson will provide a brief history of the company’s legendary founder, Jim Thompson, and his fascinating life in Thailand as well as the creation of the Thai Silk Company. Johnson will also discuss sericulture in Thailand and the process of creating hand-woven textiles such as ikats and warp prints for the international interior design market.
| Textile tourists discussing weaving in the village, northern Laos. Photo courtesy of Sandra Cate.
• Traveling New Silk Roads: Tourists and Their Impact on Southeast Asian Textiles
Sandra Cate, Ph.D.
Lecturer, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
International buyers, collectors, casual tourists, and backpackers alike now travel along modern Silk Roads throughout Southeast Asia. Seeking the sources of exotic textiles, they visit demonstrations, shop at urban showrooms, negotiate at local markets, and stop in remote villages to chat with women working at looms. These encounters represent essential cultural contact points that allow local weavers and needle workers to learn foreign design and color preferences, as well as new economic values. For their part, travelers gain a sense of environmental context; the cultural importance of weaving and needlework; and a deeper appreciation of skill and local knowledge. Based on ethnographic fieldwork (2002–2013) in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, as well as with Hmong and Mien women in Northern California, Cate’s presentation will explore these intercultural encounters and detail how textile tourism has changed production practices in village households and city workshops.
• Roundtable Discussion
Moderators: Joel Kuipers, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Christina Fink, Ph.D., Elliot School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Symposium speakers will respond to selected questions from the audience.
Sunday, October 13
The Textile Museum
2320 S Street, NW
Continental Breakfast: 9 AM
Curator’s Tour: 9:45–10:30 AM
Out of Southeast Asia: Art That Sustains
Mattiebelle Gittinger, Ph.D., Research Associate, Southeast Asian Textiles, The Textile Museum
| Participants at last year's symposium "Show and Tell" program.
Show and Tell: 10:45 AM–12:30 PM
Facilitated by Michael M. Seidman, Trustee, The Textile Museum
Share and discuss your own Southeast Asian textiles with the experts.
This year’s “Show and Tell” program will also feature a presentation of traditional dress by the Embassy of Indonesia, and a display of the winning pieces from the Embassy's recent American Batik design competitions.
Lunch: 12:30–1:30 PM
Lunch is on your own; a list of area restaurants will be provided.
The History and Architecture of The Textile Museum: 1:30 PM
Join Textile Museum docents to learn about the historic buildings of The Textile Museum before the museum moves to the campus of the George Washington University.
The Textile Museum is pleased to offer ten scholarships for this year’s annual Fall Symposium, “From Village and Court to Global Commodity: Southeast Asian Textiles,” October 11–13, 2013.
| Silk in the workshop of Carol Cassidy, Lao Textiles. Courtesy of Carol Cassidy.
Undergraduate and graduate students in Southeast Asian studies, art history, anthropology, or a textile-related course of study are invited to apply. The scholarship will cover the cost of symposium registration for each recipient; it is not a cash award.
The Textile Museum believes that this scholarship opportunity at its annual symposium is a tangible way to express the museum’s commitment to academic leadership in textile research and will ensure that the next generation of textile experts receives the unique and in-depth knowledge that can only come at a conference such as this.
To apply, please submit:
- Completed application form
- A paragraph (maximum 250 words) outlining how participating in The Textile Museum’s Annual Fall Symposium would relate to and benefit your education, chosen career path, and professional goals
- Resume (two pages maximum)
- Two letters of recommendation
Scholarship submissions will be reviewed by The Textile Museum Symposium Awards Committee.
Deadline: To be considered for a scholarship, completed applications must be received by COB, August 30, 2013. Recipients will be notified by September 13, 2013.
Applications and recommendations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Symposium Scholarship” in the subject line, faxed to (202) 483-0994, or mailed to The Textile Museum, Attn: Tom Goehner, 2320 S St. NW, Washington, DC 20008.
SCHOLARSHIPS FOR D.C.P.S. EDUCATORS
Bring new ideas back to your classroom!
The Textile Museum is pleased to offer five individual scholarships to D.C. public school and public charter school educators. The scholarship will cover the cost of symposium registration for each recipient; it is not a cash award. The Textile Museum Scholarship for D.C.P.S. Educators is open to all teachers employed at any D.C. Public or Public Charter School for the 2012–2013 academic school year.
To apply, please submit:
1. Completed application form
2. A brief bio (250 words) that will be used in symposium literature at the museum’s discretion
Deadline: Complete applications must be received by COB Friday, September 20, 2013. Recipients will be notified by email no later than September 27, 2013.
Applications and recommendations can be emailed to email@example.com with “Symposium DCPS Educators Scholarship” in the subject line, faxed to (202) 483-0994, or mailed to The Textile Museum, Attn: Tom Goehner, 2320 S St. NW, Washington, DC 20008.