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The Art of Mankind

Mary Schoeser


An important book that highlights the beauty, subtlety, simplicity and complexity of textiles around the world and down the ages


Textiles are the most ubiquitous, diverse and consistently creative art form on earth. This book ceelbrates like no other on the subject their spectacular and enduring appeal. Mary Schoeser marshals knowledge gleaned from a lifetime’s immersion in the textile arts to present a sweeping survey of the role textiles have played throughout all of human civlization. Over a thousand historical and contemporary images and highly informed texts illustrate the huge variety of materials, as well as their possible manipulations and surface treatments. Detailed descriptions include histories of pirvate collections and underscore the importance of context for appreciating the exquisite detail of fabric and cloth, with emphasis on geometric, abstract, natural and pictorial imagery.

An extensive resource section provides information about museum and textile associations around the world, making this sumptuous publication the one book that all lovers of textiles will covet.

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'With its sumptuous cloth cover and more than 1,000 colour images of historical and contemporary textiles, this fascinating journey through the history and meanings of textiles cannot fail to impress'

'As good as it gets … a wonderful resource and reference book … this wonderfully illustrated book is a rich visual feast … clear and thought-provoking'

'Can be picked up often as a reference, an inspiration, or for personal refreshment … an extraordinary accomplishment that pays tribute to this field and its practitioners'
Surface Design Journal

'The writer’s knowledge of the field and her practical experience of making are evident throughout … a sumptuous - and well-writtendesign resource aimed at inspiring textile art and design of the future'
Textile History

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback without Jacket

Size: 28.0 x 23.0 cm

Extent: 568 pp

Illustrations: 1058

Publication date: 5 November 2012

ISBN: 9780500516454

Contents List

I. Impact • II. Ingredients • III. Structure: Non-tensioned Techniques; Looping & Twisting; Weaving • IV. Surface: Insertions; Embroidery; Painting & Printing • V. Added Dimensions: Pleating & Folding; Cutting & Stitching; Elaborations • VI. Imagery: Content; Identity; Narrative • Resources • Further Reading

About the Author

Mary Schoeser is a leading authority in the field of textiles and is Honorary President of the UK Textile Society. As an adviser on historic textiles and wallpaper, she has worked with organizations such as English Heritage, the National Trust, Liberty in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Schoeser has organized many textile exhibitions, including a collaboration with the Design Museum at the University of California, Davis, to highlight elements of their collection researched in connection with this book. Her previous publications include International Textiles and World Textiles.

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