Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Seth Siegelaub

On Collecting Textiles and Books on Textiles – Collecting Textiles

20 September 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

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In this lecture Seth Siegelaub talked about his experience as a collector, tracing the origins of his passion for antique textiles and, above all, for books on textiles. The personal and almost intimate character of his collection is nevertheless moved by the desire to make his work completely accessible, open and alive. He wishes, therefore, to leave his legacy when he will find "the right conditions".
Seth Siegelaub then concludes the conference with an excursus dedicated to the historical categories of books on textiles and a critical examination of the current cataloguing of textile items based on their origin.

Seth Siegelaub (1941 New York) has undertaken various activities, from plumber to art dealer, from publisher to independent exhibition maker. He moved to France in the 1980s, where he researched popular culture, particularly the social history of handwoven textiles all over the world. In 1986 he founded the Center for Social Research on Old Textiles [CSROT], and began to create a historical textile collection. In 1997 he published the Bibliographica Textilia Historiae, the first attempt to edit a general bibliography on the history of textiles which has been constantly enriched. This work is now available online on a free access database containing more than 25.000 titles. In 2000 he founded the Stichting Egress Foundation in Amsterdam. Part of CSROT's historical textile collection was shown in 2012 at Raven Row, London. Seth Siegelaub passed away in June 2013.

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