English Medieval Embroidery

Opus Anglicanum

Edited by Clare Browne, Glyn Davies and M. A. Michael

View Inside Price: $75.00


November 29, 2016
324 pages, 9 x 11
160 color + 100 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300222005
Hardcover

Also available in:
Hardcover

Published in association with the Victoria and Albert Museum

In medieval Europe, embroidered textiles were indispensable symbols of wealth and power. Owing to their quality, complexity, and magnificence, English embroideries enjoyed international demand and can be traced in Continental sources as opus anglicanum (English work). This sumptuously illustrated book draws on new research and detailed photography to offer an introduction to their design, production, and use. Essays by leading experts explore the embroideries’ artistic and social context, while catalogue entries examine individual masterpieces. Medieval embroiderers lived in a tightly knit community in London, and many were women who can be identified by name today. Comparisons between their work and contemporary painting challenge modern assumptions about the hierarchy of artistic media. Contributors consider an outstanding range of surviving examples, highlighting their exquisite craftsmanship and exploring the world in which they were created. 

Clare Browne is a curator of textiles, and Glyn Davies is a curator of medieval art at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. M. A. Michael is professorial fellow, School of Culture and Creative Arts, University of Glasgow. 

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Victoria and Albert Museum, London
(October 2016–January 2017)

“Not only a catalogue and scholarly monograph, but a visual feast, with magnificent colour plates on virtually every page, bursting at the seams with titbits of fascinating information. It’s the sort of book that makes you want to hug yourself with glee: revelatory and as exquisitely produced as the medieval embroidery it celebrates.”—Juliet Barker, Literary Review

“Superb, razor-sharp reproductions which give a proper sense of the beauty and power of the medium… its intellectual value is undoubted.”—Paul Binski, Art Newspaper

“You do not need to know a chasuble from a cope to be dazzled by the artistry on display here, photographed in extreme close-ups or unfurled across double-page spreads.”—Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, Ornament

“The most substantial work to appear on the subject of opus anglicanum since the monumental tome of 1938 by A. G. I. Christie, English Medieval Embroidery. . . . An indispensible and up-to-date resource both for specialists and for all those curious about the aesthetic beauty and liturgical function of textiles in the Middle Ages.”—Warren T. Woodfin, Marginalia Review of Books