Many people make their pilgramage to the magnificent Italian City of Florence, often unaware of the many treasures that lie within a 10 mile radius of the city. One such special place is Prato, just 10 miles to the north-west of Florence, and home to a fabulous textile museum. If you love textiles, this museum has everything for you to enjoy: from the earliest Coptic examples, Renaissance sacred cloths, local and worldwide costume to modern works created by artists such as Raoul Dufy.
There is a very interesting and important exhibition running there at the moment which opened at the end of November and will run to 28 February 2011. The exhibition compares the designs on textiles and ceramics. This is a matter close to my heart since I think it is necessary to look at other artifacts produced in the same period as the cloths we are studying in order to gain balance, context and a deeper insight into the prevailing gestalt and taste of the times. The period under examination is the Renaissance and pottery produced by shops in Montelupo from the 14th to the 16th century (plates, jugs, bowls) is compared and contrasted with silk fabrics produced in major manufacturing centres of Italy and Europe. Maybe you can see on the promotional poster the comparison between textile and ceramic motifs. Click here for more details.