Drawn from the Museums’ extensive collection of textile arts, this delightful selection represents 15 centuries of textile arts and includes finely detailed English embroideries, playful Spanish laces, magnificent tapestries, and a set of elaborate French ecclesiastical vestments from the reign of Louis XIV. Allegorical imagery serves as the overarching theme of the exhibition, which further explores the subjects of exoticism, mythology, religious symbolism, and the fantasized animal world.
From the Exotic to the Mystical offers a glimpse into the breadth of the Museums’ textile collections and showcases many true masterpieces from the European holdings. The exhibition also honors Anna Gray Bennett, who died in 2012. Bennett was the founding curator for textile arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and a champion for the study of European textile traditions.