Metropolitan Museum of Art Curator Discusses Renaissance Embroidery at Florida Tech

MELBOURNE, FLA.—Florida Institute of Technology will present two premier cultural events on campus as part of the university’s annual textiles celebration, “Uncommon Threads,” Feb. 18 and 19. This year’s theme is “English Embroidery.”

The special guest is Melinda Watt, associate curator, Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts and supervising curator of the Ratti Textile Center at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Watt will present a complimentary evening lecture Feb. 18. A ticketed luncheon symposium also featuring Watt, takes place Feb. 19.

The Feb. 18 lecture, “The Biblical ‘It’ Girls: Female Heroines in English Embroidery,” will be held at 7 p.m. in the Gleason Performing Arts Center. Following the lecture Watt will sign copies of her award-winning exhibit catalogue English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1580-1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature. Reservations are not required and free parking is available.

The Feb. 19 luncheon symposium, “’Twixt Art and Nature: Floral Imagery in English Embroidery,” offers an opportunity to meet Watt and hear her discuss this aspect of English Embroidery. A champagne reception, silent auction and gourmet lunch will follow the discussion, which starts at 10:30 a.m. These activities will take place in the Hartley Room of the Denius Student Center on campus. Tickets are $60 per person.

After a career as a theatrical costumer, Watt received her master’s degree in costume studies from New York University in 1994. She joined the staff of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that year. Her most recent project was an exhibition of the museum’s collection of English Tudor and Stuart era embroidery, in collaboration with the Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts. The exhibition catalogue, English Embroidery from the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1580-1700: ‘Twixt Art and Nature, was awarded the Textile Society of America’s annual book award for 2008.

For more information, or tickets to the Feb. 19 luncheon symposium, contact the Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts at (321) 674-8313. Be forewarned, the luncheon tickets sell out quickly each year.

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