Textile Detective: Cultural Clues from Fabric Fragments
with Miriam Milgram
Ethnographic textile researcher Miriam Milgram will share a richly-illustrated presentation on her multi-year research documenting and reproducing 19th-century Western Bulgarian embroidery.
Her own experiences embroidering historic patterns provided a lens for viewing fragments of original embroidery; this, plus on-site research among living craftswomen, led Miriam to an understanding of historical techniques and differences in regional and sub-regional techniques, motifs, and traditions, as well as insights into the girls and women who made and used these pieces.
Interested in textiles from an early age, Miriam has made numerous research trips to the Balkans, including those for her Master’s Thesis and a Fulbright research grant. She has worked with Eastern European textiles at the Smithsonian and as guest curator at the Tamburitzan Folk Art Center in Pittsburgh. She practices most of the techniques that she studies, including fiber preparation, spinning, weaving, lace making, and embroidery.
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