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TSA President’s Blog: April 8, 2013

Elena Phipps

Monday April 8,
Today was the opening of the exhibition The Philippines: archipelago of exchange at the Quai Branly Museum.  An unexpected mix of 16th century wooden male and female figures, almost featureless but powerful;  bowls and treasure boxes in animal shapes, along with other three-dimensional objects.  But it was the banana-fiber ikat panels that really caught my eye, with their glossy polished surface and beautiful designs.

Fig. 4 Ikat banana fiber panel

(The fiber is so shiny it is hard to photography—with my iphone!)

And the resist-dyed warrior garments, collected by the Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago) in 1911 and on loan to the exhibition.  Sometimes one has to travel around the world to know about the treasures at home.

Fig. 5 Mindanao Warrior’s jacket and pants. Field Museum, Chicago, acc no. 129645, 129644.

Fig. 5a detail of the resist patterns n Field Museum garment

On the subway going home, I realized that the odd patterned plastic wall surfaces of the RER metro train was printed with homespun tweed plain weave fabric, flaws and all (note the missing warps!).

Fig. 6 Paris RER train wall covering

Textiles are everywhere you look in this city.

Elena Phipps
Paris.