To celebrate MFTA’s upcoming Raw Fibers P Credit course for teachers (starting April 9th) we are featuring textiles on our blog. Today we have picked two tapestries, both on view at The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum (an MFTA donor), located in upper Manhattan.
This detail (above) is from a tapestry that is one of four hangings reconstructed from a set of three tapestries depicting the Nine Worthies. The heroes depicted included King Arthur, Joshua, David, Hector of Troy and Julius Caesar, along with various attendants. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. gave this set of tapestries to the Metropolitan in 1947, almost ten years after the opening of The Cloisters, where they are now on view.
This detail (left) is from “The Unicorn Is Attacked,” a tapestry that is one of a series of seven hangings possibly designed in Paris and woven in Brussels around 1500.
Traditionally known as The Hunt of the Unicorn, these tapestries were woven in wool, metallic threads, and silk, and include the depiction of 101 species of plants, of which over 85 have been identified. The vibrant colors still evident today were produced with three dye plants: weld (yellow), madder (red), and woad (blue).
Like the heroes series shown above, the unicorn series of tapestries was given to the Metropolitan by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
It is rumored that the series’ previous owner, the La Rochefoucauld family, sold the tapestries to Rockefeller to raise funds to build a golf course.
Teachers: artists have used fabric to bring beauty into the world for ages. Why not bring the art of fabric into your classroom to inspire and engage your students. With MFTA’s Raw Fibers P Credit course you can learn easy techniques to incorporate art making into all subjects. You will have fun learning with us and your students will have fun with the techniques you bring back to the classroom.
three dye plants: weld (yellow), madder (red), and woad (blue).