Lecture Series- Zurbarán Centre

Three distinguished scholars explore the visual and material heritage related to the development of silk in Spain, starting with the pioneering production of silk in medieval Iberia to the new uses and meanings of silk in contemporary society. The lectures are hosted by the Zurbarán Centre at Durham University and organized in collaboration with the University of Leeds, the Instituto Cervantes-Manchester and SILKNOW.

The lectures will be delivered live on zoom, each will last ca. 35 minutes and be followed by a brief presentation of the digital tools developed by SILKNOW.

The lecture series is free and open to anyone interested in European silk heritage.

Plase register here and reeive a Zoom link for the lectures.

Friday, 7 May at 6:00 PM : Dr Maria J. Feliciano, Staging Medieval Silk in Iberia: Treasure, Ritual, and Ornament.

Dr. María J. Feliciano is an independent scholar based in New York City. She specializes in the visual culture of the late medieval and early modern Iberian worlds. She has published extensively on the influence of the arts of Islam in the artistic developments of Peninsular and Viceregal societies. She is the director of the Medieval Textiles in Iberian and the Mediterranean Research Project and a member of Material and Visual Cultures of Religion in the Americas (Yale University) and The Medieval Iberian Treasury in Context (CSIC), among other research groups. Dr. Feliciano’s lecture will be followed by a brief demo of the digital tools developed by the SILKNOW research project, in connection with the subject of the lecture. The presenter will be Jorge Sebastián, Professor of Art History at the Universitat de València.

Friday, 14 May at 6:00 PM: Dr Ana Cabrera, Revisiting Sericulture and Silk Production in the Kingdoms of Spain, circa 1300-1700: local and global networks

Dr Ana Cabrera is Director of the Instituto del Patrimonio Cultural de España since 2020. Previously she was curator of historical fashion at the Museo del Traje in Madrid (2018-2020), Marie S.-Curie Fellow at the Victoria and Albert Museum (2016-2018), and curator at the National Museum of Decorative Arts of Madrid (2002-2016). She has curated the exhibiton Alfombras y tejidos del Museo de La Alhambra in Granada in 1997 and Extra, Moda. El nacimiento de la prensa de moda en España with Maria Prega at the Museo del Traje. She is the author of four books, several book chapters and articles about museum documentation, the history of the Museo Nacional de Artes Decorativas, and historical textiles. Dr Cabrera’s lecture will be followed by a brief demo of the digital tools developed by the SILKNOW research project, in connection with the subject of the lecture. The presenter will be Mar Gaitán, Research Technician, Universitat de València. 

Monday, 17 May at 6:00 PM: Professor Cris Carr: “Silk in contemporary society, beyond its ornamental use”

Cris Carr is Professor in Textile Technology at the University of Leeds, with a key focus on Healthcare Textiles, and he was Head of the School of Design until September 2020. He has published widely through research publications and conference presentations and is a member of several Editorial Boards for international research journals. In 2015 he was awarded the Society of Dyers and Colourists Gold Medal for his outstanding contribution to Textile & Colour Education and is currently a Trustee on the Society of Dyers and Colourists. Professor Carr’s lecture will be followed by a brief demo of the digital tools developed by the SILKNOW research project, in connection with the subject of the lecture. The presenter will be Cristina Portalés, Ramón y Cajal researcher, University of Valencia.

ADASilk. Travel into Silk Heritage

Although silk textiles were for many centuries very precious trading goods across the Eurasian continent and further, the knowledge about how production started in Europe and its culture surrounding it is not very known or easily accessible anymore. Textiles, clothes, furniture and so many other objects are scattered around museums and collections and information about them are not easily accessible, neither for researchers nor for the fashion industry and the broader public.

To solve this issue, we created ADASilk (Advanced Data Analysis for Silk heritage), which integrates an exploratory search engine and a Spatio-temporal map, is built on top of the SILKNOW’s knowledge graph that contains nearly 40,000 fabric entries with images and other relevant information describing them (e.g., production place, production timespan, material, technique, etc.). This repository is named ADASilk after Ada Lovelace, the British mathematician whose connection to the origins of computers is well known by now.

The data contained in ADASilk comes from the archives of Boston Museum of Fine Arts, CDMT Terrassa, Garín 1820, Joconde Database of French Museum Collections, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mobilier International, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Musée des Tissus, Paris Musées, Red Digital de Colecciones de Museos de España, Rhode Island School of Design, Sicily Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian, Versailles, Victoria and Albert Museum.

ADASilk is based on a generic exploratory search engine for knowledge graphs being developed at EURECOM and includes scientific contributions from Universitat de Valencia, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – Lyon 2, Universita Degli Studi di Palermo, GARIN 1820 S.A., Institut Jozef Stefan, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Monkeyfab, and Instituto Cervantes.

The Virtual Loom and Spatio-Temporal Maps visualizations have been developed by Universitat de Valencia.

From Museum documentation to digital data curation. Challenges and opportunities for open access.

Cultural heritage organizations produce a vast quantity of heterogeneous datasets which are often held inside their walls and are not open to the public. Even when they are, sometimes they are not easily accessible, for technological and organizational reasons. This has led to the loss of information essential both for the general audience and researchers. The problem gets worse when dealing with textile collections that require a high specialization to document and conserve them.

SILKNOW aimed to provide answers for some of these challenges, thanks to digital tools and approaches, combined with scholarly expertise (from silk specialists, art historians and historians, textile engineers…). One of its goals was to provide methods and best practices for heritage institutions that want to take their textile collections into the information and knowledge society. It pays particular attention to institutions that lack the technical resources and staff to venture into ICT and research.

Three workshops were held where the ultimate goal is to develop together a document of good practices in textile conservation.

The first workshop was held on 15th February 2021. It was attended by 13 professionals specialized in textile collections, some of them coming from 8 Spanish museums, such as:

The second workshop was held on 25th February and was carried out in Italian. It gathered representatives from 9 small museums, all of them belonging to Catholic dioceses: 

The third workshop was held on the 6th April, and gathered participants from Europe, America and Asia. The 15 attendees included representatives from 9 museums and one EU-funded research project, plus 2 independent scholars, including:

Maggio di seta

As part of SILKNOW, the Instituto Cervantes of Palermo is organizing this monographic program along May dedicated to the Silk Road and the relationships between Spain and Sicily. The program will consist of a didactic exhibition and eight conferences held by Italian and Spanish art history speakers.

Church of Santa Eulalia dei Catalani, Palermo
28 May – 30 June 2021.
A selected exhibition of Spanish textiles from the Treasury of the Palermo Cathedral and the Diocesan Museum of Monreale will be displayed. The sacred insignia, which belonged to illustrious bishops will be reproduced on the photographic panels. In addition to making known this heritage, we offer the possibility of entering into the world of silk weaving. A QR code has been attached to each piece, allowing visitors to examine their weaving techniques and their 3D virtual reproduction.

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En el marco del proyecto europeo SILKNOW, el Instituto Cervantes de Palermo organiza a lo largo del mes de mayo este programa monográfico dedicado a la Ruta de la Seda y a las relaciones entre España y Sicilia. El programa consistirá en una exposición didáctica y ocho conferencias impartidas por ponentes de historia del arte italianos y españoles.

Exposición, Tramas de seda entre España y Palermo
Iglesia de Santa Eulalia de los Catalanes
Palermo 28 de mayo – 30 de junio de 202

En este lugar se propone una exposición seleccionada de piezas textiles de origen español existentes en el Tesoro de la Catedral de Palermo y el Museo Diocesano de Monreale. Las insignias sagradas, que pertenecieron a ilustres obispos, reproducidas en los paneles fotográficos, además de dar a conocer un patrimonio poco apreciado, ofrecen la posibilidad de entrar en el mundo del tejido y de ampliar el conocimiento. Para cada pieza se ha adjuntado un código QR que permite examinar la técnica de ejecución y su reproducción virtual en 3D.

Seminarios, mayo de seda
Dentro del proyecto europeo Silknow, el Instituto Cervantes de Palermo organiza en el mes de mayo este programa monográfico dedicado a la ruta de la seda y a las relaciones entre España y Sicilia. El programa se compone de una exposición didáctica y de ocho conferencias a cargo de expertos históricos del arte tanto italianos como españoles.

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