TSA Announces Winner of Annual R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award


Berkeley, CA—Editors of Chinese Silks, Feng Zhao and Dieter Kuhn, have been awarded the R.L Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award for 2012.

In 2000 the Textile Society of America established The R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award, through a generous donation from R.L. Shep. This prestigious award, presented yearly, recognizes a book on ethnographic textiles for its outstanding scholarship and communication about textiles.

This year’s award winner is an example of the rich dialogue and original insights that can occur when textile scholars collaborate across cultures and disciplines. With contributions from seven authors, Chinese Silks is part of The Culture and Civilization of China series published in both English and Chinese by the Yale University Press and China International Publishing Group. Painstakingly researched and copiously illustrated, the book represents the collective first attempt by preeminent Chinese and Western scholars to write a comprehensive history of Chinese silks. The authors connect recently discovered textile artifacts with period literary references to outline the technical and aesthetic evolution of silk manufacture as well as the social forces that shaped the production and consumption of silk. Including vast amounts of original scholarship available in English for the first time, Chinese Silks offers the most thorough account of the history of silk published to date.

Chinese Silks, edited by Dieter Kuhn, Chinese edition edited by Zhao Feng. Foreword by James C.Y. Watt. Contributions by Chen Juanjuan, Huang Nengfu, Dieter Kuhn, Li Wenying, Peng Hao, and Zhao Feng. Translations by David Andrew Knight, Craig Shaw, and Nicholas Morrow Williams. Yale University Press (New Haven and London) and Foreign Languages Press (Beijing).

The award committee, this year was composed of Lee Talbot, Claire Odland, and Ruth Barnes. For further information on the Textile Society of America’s R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award please visit The Call for Nominations for the 2013 award will be announced shortly.


The Textile Society of America (TSA) is a membership-driven organization that provides an international forum for the exchange and dissemination of textile knowledge from artistic, cultural, economic, historic, political, social, and technical perspectives. Established in 1987 as a 501c(3), TSA is governed by a Board of Directors from museums and universities in North America and around the world. Its 700 members worldwide include top museum curators, conservators, scholars, artists, craftspeople, educators, students, dealers, collectors and textile enthusiasts.

Michele Hardy, Director of External Relations

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