Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pulling Strings Reference Library: Tara Bursey

Our Pulling Strings Reference Library event next weekend is fast approaching!  More info to come in a few short days, but until then here's another book review, this one from our very own Tara Bursey!

Young Brides, Old Treasures: Macedonian Embroidered Dress
Bobbie Sumberg, Editor
Santa Fe: Museum of International Folk Art

The summer after I left school, I was asked by someone I know at the Canadian Macedonian Historical Society to take a look at their permanent collection as well as consult with them about converting an unit in the building they are housed in into a mini-museum of Macedonian social history.  When I visited the collection, I was wowed by some of their beautiful (as well as some of their more humble) examples of Macedonian textiles even though much of it was in very rough shape.  One of my first little jobs fresh from school and a contract at the Textile Museum, I simmered with excitement thinking that this was the kind of work that I could actually make a life's work doing-- connecting textiles and social history, not to mention working with objects related to my own family's ethnic identity.

As I wandered through the CMHS's archive, I spotted this incredible book-- the massive catalogue of an exhibition that happened last year at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Young Brides, Old Treasures flaunts big, beautiful images of complete folk costumes from across the Republic of Macedonia with a focus on Macedonian embroidery. While embroidery is central, the costumes feature other trademark embellishments such as coin work and lavish red fringes and tassels.  Many thanks to Santa for getting me a copy of this catalogue for Christmas last year!  For those interested, my copy is in the PS Reference Library at Needlework-- hop over and give it a look!

Tara Bursey
Interdisciplinary Artist and Curator, Pulling Strings Member

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