Printed sources related to the design of textile patterns first appeared during the Renaissance. Six intricate interlaced designs, attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and later copied by Albrecht Dürer, stood at the beginning of a fruitful international exchange of pattern designs through print. From the 1520s, small booklets with textile patterns were published regularly. These pocket-sized, easy-to-use publications became an instant success and essentially formed the first fashion publications. This interdisciplinary exhibition, drawn largely from the Metropolitan Museum's own collection, combines printed pattern books, drawings, textile samples, costumes, paintings, and various other works of art to evoke the colorful world in which the Renaissance textile pattern books first emerged and functioned.
The exhibition is made possible by the Placido Arango Fund and the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.
The Metropolitan's quarterly Bulletin program is supported in part by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, established by the cofounder of Reader's Digest.