Monday, January 18, 2016

Help! 4500 years of textile history at risk

Félix Fontaine manufacturer, Nicolas Romain designer

In the proud city of Lyon, 
the fabric museum that contains 2.5 million works of textile history 
- many absolute master pieces -
is at great risk of closure. 

Despite the fact that it is recognized as one of the largest and most important 
textile collections in the world, its budget has been cut in favor of Confluences, the
new museum inaugurated in Lyon last year. 

Can you imagine the textile collections of the Met, the V & A, or LACMA 
left to sit inaccessable in some dark storage warehouse ?

And, the textile museum is not alone. 
It is linked to an impressive decorative arts museum which would equally be shut down.

The current exhibit at the Musée des tissus is called Le Genie de la Fabrique.
"The exhibition is a tribute to the city of Lyon and its silk working citizens who were able, through their incredible sense of perfection and inventiveness, to elevate weaving fabric not only to the rank of a remarkable craft but to that of a true art."

The exhibit is set to continue into June 2016. 
but if a solution is not found this Friday, January 22, 

the museum could close in March 2016.

Coptic funerary cushion
French textile technology and design is an extremely 
important part of  textile history, but the collection is not only French.

It contains world textiles that span 4500 years.

Regula Schorta, director of the Swiss Abegg Foundation confirms,

 It is one of the rare textile museums covering almost all fields, topics, regions. Its importance is global. I also want to emphasize the very important role of the museum in the field of restoration of antique textiles and training activities also concern international professionals.*

Lyon silk brocade 18th century
Chambre de la Reine Versailles
design Jean-Francois Bony 1786
image Le Point
At the Victoria & Albert Museum, Lesley Miller is in complete accord: The Textile Museum is one of the most important collections in the world both in size and quality and for its geographical and chronological scope. It is also unique for its silk collections of the local industry that had - and still has - international importance. It contributes to research worldwide through its reserves, its library, its and its permanent and temporary exhibitions.*

*quotes translated from an article by Didier Ryker of Le Tribune de l'Art

designer Agnan Kroichvili
source Marlie
Oh, irony! 
It's just when we are starting to experience 
a renewed interest for fabric design, that this happens. 
Of course, the management of cultural heritage should never be a matter of trends.

Isabelle de Borchgrave exhibit
Maison Lamy et Giraud designer Pierre-Adrien Chabal-Dussurgey  
 Lyon, 1867, presented at the Expositions universelles Paris 1878 

Sarabande   Edith Meusnier 2007

I  don't want to believe the verse from Joni Mitchell will come to pass -

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
'Til it's gone -

A good number of you have already signed the petition started by 
Daniel Fruman, textile specialist and collector, 
and I thank you.
For those who haven't yet, you can do so by clicking below.

Please help keep the Museum open 
by signing the petition here
before the last chance meeting of January 22.

Thank you!


  1. Did what I could Gesbi. So terrible about this. Hope someone in power comes through before it is too late.

  2. errgggghhhhh! had a chance to go there 2 septembers ago and did not. and i missed the isabelle de borchgrave exhibit too?!!! aggghhhh! i have signed the petition. i will spread the word. i will send money. thx gesbi for the alert! xo

  3. Such a travesty if this comes to pass but I shall keep fingers and toes crossed for Friday's outcome.

  4. Signed and shared!! If it closes, it is another monument to the stupidity of man. I hope..... !!!!!