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‘Art of Dyeing Silk’ Workshop in Amsterdam on 5–6 April

19 May 2019

On 5–6 April, Paula Hohti took part in ‘The art of dyeing silk’ workshop in Amsterdam, organsied by Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. This two-day workshop concentrated on historical methods of natural dyeing, aiming to give participants a thorough understanding of examining and testing processes of historical recipes. The participants worked with eight different natural red dyes;  brazilwood, madder, safflower, annatto, lac dye, American cochineal and kermes. They were introduced to the history of natural dyes, and presented with methods of analysing and reproducing them. After this, participants got the opportunity to mordant and dye their silks, as well as to build their own reference collections.

Read more about the workshop

 

Thank you to our research assistant Umberto!

29 April 2019

Our research Fellow Stefania Montemezzo has spent months in archives Siena, Florence, Venice, collecting material for our project, and several more months transcribing those documents. For the past two of months, she has had a help from our wonderful research assistant, Umberto Signori, who has been tirelessly preparing the data for our database.

Umberto holds a PhD in Early Modern History from the University of Milan, and he has received a fellowship at the Italian Institute for Historical Studies (Naples). He has specialized in the social and institutional history of Mediterranean World in the early modern period, with a focus on consuls, migrants, and foreigners, and he is especially interested in the processes of identification that determined the social inclusion or exclusion of individuals.cHe has several years of experience working in Venetian archives, which has made him a valuable asset to our project.

Thank you so much Umberto for your work in our project!

Umberto and Stefania.

 

Refashioning the Renaissance hosts panels in RSA Toronto

On the 17—19 March 2019, the Refashioning the Renaissance team took part of the the annual Renaissance Society of America conference, this year held in Toronto. Our project was very fortunate to get four panel sessions accepted into the conference program, focusing on different aspects of lower-class dress in Europe.

Our panels on Lower-Class Dress, Fashion and Identity in Europe, 1450–1650 took place on the first day of the conference, and included presentations from all the researchers of the team. Focusing on the Italian context, Paula Hohti presented the Refashioning the Renaissance project, and talked about fashion among artisans in Renaissance Italy, and how artisans were communicating how they wanted to be viewed by others. Stefania Montemezzo added to this by introducing an accounting book by Alessandro Vignarchi, and unspecialised trader who travelled in remote areas in Tuscan Apennines. She discussed the peddlers’ role as intermediaries between areas and markets in the spreading of fashion in especially rural areas in Italy. Furthermore, Michele Nicole Robinson examined cross-cultural exchange of dress and accessories seen in artisan inventories in Siena, Florence and Venice, with a particular focus on pearls.

We had a delightful turnout for our panels, and many stayed fro the whole day.

Focusing on England and Denmark, Sophie Pitman considered the urban dress among lower social levels of society, especially focusing on the social codes and attitudes towards fashion, as well as imitation materials. Lastly Anne-Kristine Sindvald Larsen discussed the influences of reformation in the dress of Danish artisans.

We were also were fortunate that so many scholars wanted to contribute to the discussion of dress of ordinary people, and present in our panels. This included scholars such as Joyce de Vries and Amanda Wunder, who focused on the clothing of women seen through Bolognese dowry inventories, and the clothing of the women who were admitted into the poor hospital, Hospital de la Pasión in Madrid, respectively. Francesca Canadé Sautman and Alisa M. Carlson touched on the role of hats and headdresses used by the lower levels of society, by discussing depictions of hats and headwear in the portraits painted by Hans Holbein the Elder in Augsburg, and the depictions of women’s linen head coverings in Europe, with an emphasis on Burgundy-Flanders.

Alisa M. Carlson, Francesca Canadé Sautman, Joyce de Vries, and Amanda Wunder.

After our own panels were successfully behind us, we were able to enjoy the rest of the conference. Some of our team members had been to previous RSA conferences, whereas for some this was the first time in a conference of this scale. The scope of the presentations and scholars from all areas of Renaissance studies made sure that there were at least three interesting panels going on in any given moment, and it was hard to choose where to go. It was a pleasure to meet so many old and new colleagues, engage in interesting discussions and enjoy the papers that shed light to so many various aspects of renaissance life. We look very much forward to next year´s conference!