Threads of Time: Travel, Trade & Textiles is a jewel-box display in the historic Mackelvie Gallery that offers a survey of European art from the 15th to the 18th centuries. Presenting for the first time new acquisitions and recent donations to our Auckland audiences, this exhibition also showcases beloved paintings and sculptures from the permanent collection, some of which have not been on display for several years. Five thematically-driven, Salon-style hangs underline the sumptuous materiality of fabrics, both as depicted subjects in art and as physical supports that sometimes peek through a painting’s layers of pigment and varnish.
Products of technology and trade, fabrics are cultural artefacts. They are also markers of social status and expressions of individual taste and sentiment. As such, their depiction in paintings, sculpture and works on paper is the outcome of precise negotiations between artist and client. Interpreting works from the permanent collection through this social and historical lens, Threads of Time shows how the manner fabric is represented in art can offer insight into the politics and culture of the past.
Head to the Gallery's website to download more information on the artworks displayed within the exhibition here.