Textiles Close Up: Printed Textiles at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
October 25, 2013
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Friday, October 25, 2013 9:00am-4:00pm

Explore the history of printed cloth in the West with Pamela Parmal, David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textiles and Fashion Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and former president of the Textile Society of America. Pam will focus on the period from the introduction of Indian hand-painted and resist-dyed cloth in the seventeenth century, through the development of industrial printing methods in Europe and the U.S. This one-day workshop will feature examples from the MFA Boston’s encyclopedic collection and include one of the earliest hand-painted Indian bed curtains used in Ashburnham House in England, fine examples of copper-plate printing, and early nineteenth century textiles created by an astonishing array of new dye and printing technologies. During the workshop you will learn to recognize hand-painted Indian textiles, block-printed textiles, and many of the new dyes and printing technologies of the early Industrial Revolution. The day will end with a look at several quilts in the collection, in anticipation of a major exhibition scheduled for the spring, and examine how this knowledge can be put into practice in the study of the quilts and their history.

The program includes a morning and afternoon session and a group lunch.

Registration for this program is currently full. If you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email

One scholarship space is reserved for a member who would benefit professionally from this experience but, for financial reasons, is otherwise unable to attend. Click here to complete the scholarship application.

Bio of TCU’s Expert Guide, Pamela Parmal

Pamela Parmal assumed the position of the David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts and department head at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in January 2004. She began work at the MFA in 1999 as Associate Curator. Since then she has been curated a number of exhibitions including Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006, November 2006-March 2007; And So To Bed: Indian Bed Curtains from an Stately English Home, November 2008-July 2009; and The Embroideries of Colonial Boston in 2012 with an accompanying book. She is now working on the exhibition and catalogue Quilts & Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection, which will open in April 2014. Parmal received a Masters Degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. The University of Wisconsin granted her BAs in Art History and French. Before taking her position at the MFA, she worked as Assistant and then Associate Curator for the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design where she served as co-project director during the planning stages for the NEH funded exhibition and catalogue, From Paris to Providence: The Tirocchi Sisters Dressmaking Shop and curated the exhibition, Geoffrey Beene, for which she also wrote the accompanying catalogue.

About Textiles Close Up, a Program of the Textile Society of America

Textiles Close Up is an exciting new series of study-workshops that provides opportunities to examine textiles in leading museum and private collections, guided by renowned experts. Workshops focus on the exploration of the materials, techniques, styles, culture and history of selected textile traditions, which vary for each event. The format offers first-hand, close-up viewing of textiles in the storerooms, laboratories and study rooms of various institutions offering unprecedented access and learning opportunities. This year’s program is partially supported by a generous donation from Textile Arts, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.