November 2, 2009

Unraveling historic textiles

On three Wednesdays in November, Homewood Museum will present Textiles Unraveled: Fabrics in Historic Interiors, a speaker series offering an insider’s look at the history and importance of fabrics in early American interiors.

The series celebrates the installation of new window treatments and bed hangings in the museum’s best guest chamber, where important overnight visitors to Homewood may have stayed. Soft furnishings were often the most valuable component of a household in early America, and surviving evidence and documentation indicate that Charles and Harriet Carroll decorated their 1801 summer home in the latest fashion. “With Homewood having been open as a museum for over 20 years, we are beginning to revisit some of our textiles on display,” said Homewood director-curator Catherine Rogers Arthur. The new hangings are a vibrant apple green gauze and satin-weave stripe, custom-woven by Brunschwig & Fils based on a document fabric at Winterthur Museum & Country Estate in Delaware.

The program includes presentations by Anita Jones, curator of textiles at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and Louise Wheatley, artist and independent textile conservator, on Nov. 4; Linda Eaton, director of collections and curator of textiles at Winterthur, Nov. 11; and historic textiles fabricator Clarissa deMuzio, of Glencourt Design in Philadelphia, and Catherine Rogers Arthur, Nov. 18.

Each talk will begin at 6 p.m. and be followed by a question-and-answer session and reception. The cost of the series is $40 ($30 museum members, $18 students); admission to single lectures is $15 ($12 members, $8 students). Because seating is limited, prepaid registrations are required. For more information, call 410-516-5589 or go to