Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts Presents Wedding Costumes from Around the World

MELBOURNE, FLA.The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts presents its new exhibition, Tying the Knot: Global Wedding Costume and Ritual, Jan. 18- April 26, in its galleries located on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology.  

In cultures across the globe, marriage signifies a critical transition tied to inherent beliefs, values, and traditions. Tying the Knot will showcase the varying customs, textiles and fashion associated with marriage around the world, highlighting the cultural significance of this often monumental event.

The highly-anticipated exhibit, which will be accompanied by a full-color catalog, features over 35 wedding ensembles and accessories. Highlights from the exhibition include a Qing Dynasty bride’s robe and headdress from China; a 19th century gilded Indonesian wedding crown; a beaded Ndebele wedding ensemble from South Africa; contemporary wedding dresses by Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier; and a 17th century European needlework sampler—the oldest textile in the Funk Center’s permanent collection. Most of the pieces on display are from the renowned private collection of William D. and Norma Canelas Roth.

Several programs will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition including the annual Uncommon Threads symposium, Feb. 13 and 14. The Friends of Textiles Lecture Series features global wedding textile specialist Joanne Eicher on March 11 and Karen Herbaugh, curator of the recent American Textile History Museum exhibit Behind the Veil, on April 8. Admission is $10 for each lecture; they will be held in the Denius Student Center’s Hartley Room.

The center will present a free demonstration on wedding dress preservation in its mezzanine April 5 and a $10 Family Fun Day workshop to celebrate the close of the exhibition April 26. For detailed event information, visit,or call (321) 674-8313.

Beginning Jan. 18, regular hours will be Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m. The center is located on campus (next to Evans library) in Melbourne at 150 W. University Blvd.


Wedding Crown, Indonesia, 19th century. Hand carved wood, gilded (gold), red paint, green enamel, chain. On loan from William D. and Norma Canelas Roth. Photo by Dominic Agostini.

Wedding Ensemble (Jacket and Skirt), South China, Qing Dynasty, circa 1895-1910. Silk black satin – couched, wrapped threads in gold, silver, copper, metals. On loan from William D. and Norma Canelas Roth. Photo by Dominic Agostini.

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