A first-of-its-kind exhibition at Dallas' Meadows Museum will connect the seams between art and fashion in Spain throughout history. "Canvas & Silk: Historic Fashion from Madrid’s Museo del Traje" will pair historic dress and accessories from the museum in Madrid with important paintings from Meadows’ collection.
The exhibition will mark the first major collaboration between the Spanish institution and an American museum and will include about 40 works from the Meadows alongside examples of dress and accessories from the Museo del Traje (Spanish National Museum for Fashion), a release says.
"Displayed together, the works in the exhibition not only tell the story of how fashion trends in Spain changed over five hundred years, but also reveal how elements of a country’s history – such as its involvement with global trade or the formation of a national identity – are reflected in its dress," the release says.
"Canvas & Silk," running September 19, 2021 to January 9, 2022, will display concurrently with "Image & Identity: Mexican Fashion in the Modern Period," described as "an investigation into Mexican dress spanning from Mexican Independence to modern times through photographs and prints from the collections of the Meadows Museum and SMU’s DeGolyer Library."
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to gain further insight into Meadows’ collection of Spanish art through its exhibition with loans from Spain’s premier collection of historic dress,” says Amanda W. Dotseth, curator at the Meadows Museum and co-curator of the exhibition, in the release. “This exhibition makes it possible to tell a more nuanced story about Spanish society through the presentation of historic paintings with contemporaneous examples of the garments depicted therein."
"Canvas & Silk" will be grouped into themes that explore several trends in the history of European fashion, in general, and Spanish dress, in particular, over the past 500 years. These include:
- “Precious Things,” showcasing accessories like jewelry and combs made from precious metals, as well as other rare materials such as coral.
- “Traditional Dress,” featuring garments and ensembles that are typically identified with Spain, such as a traje de luces (a bullfighters' suit) and mantón de Manila (traditional embroidered silk shawls traded through Manila).
- “Stepping Out,” showing the importance of what people wore when presenting themselves in public.
Highlights of pairings combining Meadows' paintings and historic dress include:
- Ignacio Zuloaga’s The Bullfighter “El Segovianito” (1912) accompanied by a traje de luces of the same color.
- Zuloaga’s Portrait of the Duchess of Arión, Marchioness of Bay (1918) displayed alongside a mantón de Manila similar to the one the duchess is holding,
- Joan Miró’s Queen Louise of Prussia (1929) paired with a vibrantly hand-painted dress and shoes by 20th-century fashion designer Manuel Piña.
“By pairing the Museo del Traje’s collection with that of the Meadows’, we are bringing the dress, accessories, and other material objects to life, enabling viewers to see the contexts in which such articles were worn,” says Elvira González, curator of the historic apparel collection at the Museo del Traje, in the release. “Viewed together, the clothing allows for a deeper understanding of the painting. We’re excited to see what kind of scholarship and new ideas might be generated by presenting these works in a new environment and alongside these paintings and drawings.”
For more information about the exhibition, visit the Meadows Museum website.