The Textile Museum Associates of Southern California is a wonderful group that we both belong to that offers many programs each year for information about textiles and ethnic art. While serious scholarship prevails, we really love it because we get to dress up in all our ethnic finery, and there is some stunning costume worn by the other member-collectors. As Cheri Hunter, the group’s program chair, put it- “Where else would we wear all this stuff?”

TMA/SC recently had a celebration of the 30th year for the group and assembled several speakers for a lunchtime of informative presentations and fun.

Marjorie Ransome, a former diplomat, collector, researcher and author spoke on

“Silver, Silk and Cotton Threads: Textiles and Costumes of Yemen.”

Her book,”Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Styles of Yemeni Jewelry” is a must have for ethnic costume enthusiasts.

Available at Amazon:

Walter Denney, distinguished professor of art history, scholar and expert of Islamic art at University of Massachusetts gave a fascinating talk.

“Ottoman by Design: Branding an Empire via Floral Designs in Carpets and Textiles”.

An entertaining and vivid speaker, Walter’s told us how the Ottoman’s 6 or 7 flower designs including tulip, carnation, hyacinth, rose petal and pomegranate, were copied by culture after culture during the empire’s flourishing trading days in a floral diaspora that influences us to this day. He has us looking down at the rugs at our feet now and discovering Ottoman floral designs. Why, you are probably standing on knock-off Ottoman tulip pattern right this minute!

The programs were absolutely fascinating and informative and it was so much fun seeing so many members wearing their ethnic costumes and jewelry. Here are some of them we liked.

For more info on the group click here




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