Fragmentary Tales: Selections from the Lloyd Cotsen “Textile Traces” Collection
Visually and intellectually compelling, textile fragments hold clues and tell stories about the past. An excerpt from the extensive collection of fragments assembled by Lloyd Cotsen, this exhibition presents mysterious and tantalizingly incomplete segments of textiles from throughout history and from around the world, from Peru to Uzbekistan to China and representing a span of more than 2,000 years.
Fragmentary Tales traces a collector’s interest in pattern, color, and texture; the tension between chaos and order; and the exquisite trace of what was once a masterpiece, now isolated because of time or circumstance.
Examining these fragments out of any context is instructive, and Cotsen seeks to share his wide-ranging collection with the public to challenge the visual experience of objects. Despite existing as remnants of a whole, each fragment reveals much about its purpose, method of construction, and aesthetic sensibility of its time and place.
Image: Tomoko Sasaki, Japan, active 20th century, for Nuno Corporation, Japan, founded 1984, Textile Fragment, “Threadstray,” Japan, 2006, Wool felt, needle punched, Collection of Lloyd E. Cotsen, photo © The Cotsen Foundation for Academic Research.