A visit to Maastricht

Christopher Ng's Textile Moment was in the Treasury of the Basilica of Saint Servatius: The medieval textiles collection of this Basilica in Maastricht, the Netherlands, is counted among the most important of its kind. These textiles were carefully restored and documented by specialists from the Abegg-Stiftung in Riggisberg, Switzerland, in the late 1980s.

Statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Maastricht, The Netherlands

Statue of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, in Maastricht, The Netherlands

Among the best pieces in the collection are the so-called alb of Saint Servatius and the robe of Monulph. There is also an extensive collection of Oriental silks, some dating back to the 4th century, from Constantinople, Egypt and Central Asia. Some medieval-woven silks and embroideries from Europe, particularly from the Meuse-Rhine area, Spain and Italy are on display. All textiles can be found in a small upper room accessible via a spiral staircase.

Also in Maastricht, at the Basilica of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, the 15th-century wooden statue was recently given a new cloak. This cloak was made entirely by ordinary people, supported by companies and institutions in Limburg, from its design phase to its final composition. The outside of the cloak is made of two layers of fabric by 20-year old Marie-Claire Buffet, a French exchange student from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design. The designs were laser-created to cut voids on the upper fabric thus exposing the fabric underneath. The lining, designed by Rob Simons, was printed with four hundred names submitted by the sponsors. The clasp was designed by Elwy Schutten from the Maastricht Academy of Fine Arts and Design; and the cloak was assembled locally in Maastricht. Unfortunately, the treasury was closed so I didn't get to feast my eyes on more textiles.

See www.sintservaas.nl (in Dutch and in English) and www.sterre-der-zee.nl for more information.

18 May 2014

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