All posts tagged: materiality

Teaching Tradition: A Sampler from the Scoula d’Industrie Italiane, 1905-1927

Sampler, Scoula d’Industrie Italiane, ca. 1915, embroidered linen, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Larger version of the image is available here. A young Italian female immigrant in the Greenwich Village in the early twentieth century had few options if she wanted to earn a living outside the small tenement apartment she likely shared with her family. If she found work, it was almost certainly unskilled factory labor in unhealthy working conditions for little pay. In 1905, progressive upper class New Yorkers Florence Colgate Speranza and her husband Gino Speranza imagined an alternative: a clean, light-filled workshop where women might learn a skilled trade and earn decent wages. While on vacation in Italy, the Speranzas had observed small-scale revival textile industries cropping up in Italian cities and towns such as the Aemelia Ars in Bologna and the Scoula di Sorbello in Pischiello. The Speranzas set out to establish a similar studio in the all-Italian neighborhood of Greenwich Village. The Scuola d’Industrie Italiane operated until 1927 producing “embroideries copied from ancient designs and adapted to modern uses.”1 This …

Interview with Ivan Gaskell

On April 5, 2013, Ivan Gaskell delivered the keynote address of the University of Rochester’s ninth Visual and Cultural Studies conference: “A Matter of Time: Temporalities of Material Culture.” In his whimsically titled speech,”Buds, Bugs, and Bird Skulls: Do Such Things Perdure?”, Gaskell offered a poignant reflection on the various mechanisms immanent to the museum, bringing attention to a number of objects, beautiful and initially mystifying, that challenged the entrenched conventions of curation. We at InVisible Culture had the immense fortune to sit down with Ivan during the conference weekend for a more intimate look into his thinking, and to conduct the interview you see here.Over the coming year, we plan on releasing a number of additional interviews, each featuring an exciting thinker who participates in a discourse different than that of the scholar before it. Special thanks are due to Ivan Gaskell for granting this interview, and our parent institution, the University of Rochester, for its continual support over the years. – Video produced by Paul Thomas Rubery Interviewer: Eitan Freedenberg Shot and Edited …