Sunday, 26 May 2013

Fiber Exhibit in National Museum

I never did get back to this post to write anything, but the pictures pretty much stand on their own.  When I arrived at the Reykjavik National Museum, it just so happened I had arrived on the opening day of an exhibit of Icelandic knitting.

In a large hall, they had numerous knitted shawls suspended from the ceiling and a long panel of knitted mittens hung in a case on the wall.

Many of the shawls displayed the traditional Icelandic lace patterns that we have studied.

Seeing these inspired me to start my own pair of Icelandic mittens similar in design to the red one in the upper right corner (above.)

The shawls were lovely, but hard to see close up because they were suspended above head level.

In the back (above) you can also see that some rectangular pieces were being exhibited.

Here is a lovely feather and fan half-circle.

There were no real descriptions of the pieces, so I can't say too much about the individual pieces, but it was a very pretty exhibit.

The museum itself had  some historical costumes on exhibit.

This is a medieval style dress.

And I love this piece - a nineteenth century riding habit! (It looks more like a funerary director's clothing, doesn't it!)

This tapestry work was three-dimensional. The faces were stuffed so that they distended outward from the fabric.

Best of all, they were having a living exhibit of women's costumes from historical periods.

All the costumes were hand-made and there was a group of some 20 women in different costumes from different periods.This starched headdress was amazing to see in real life.

The women were very kind and explained about their costumes and the history of Iceland to a foreigner who knew nothing at all about Icelandic history.

Many of the costumes had tassels. I thought perhaps it was the influence of military dress, but was told that could not be so, since Iceland has never had a military.

Unfortunately the focus on my camera was not working well that day, so I don't have very many decent photos, but luckily the sights are emblazoned in my mind and will be with me for many years! It was one of those days that make you feel lucky and full of joy!

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