Planned Events
of the International Hajji Baba Society







*Some programs such as salons and home visits marked with an * are open only to Hajji members and require pre-registration two weeks in advance of the event. Information on location and how to register will be forthcoming.


DATE: Saturday, May 3, 2014
TIME: 3:30pm
LOCATION: Arlington County Central Library, ground floor auditorium, 1015 N Quincy St.

NOTE: This program is on a Saturday, and we only have access to the meeting room until 5:00pm

SPEAKER: Amanda Phillips, Marie Curie Fellow of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman, and Modern Greek Studies, University of Birmingham
SUBJECT: Ottoman Velvets as Luxury Goods: Foreign Competition, Markets, and Mass Production

This paper traces changes in one of the many styles and fashions found in Ottoman luxury velvets in the early modern period, focusing especially on well-known eastern Mediterranean motifs and formats dating to the sixteenth century and on lesser-known, Indian-inspired equivalents dating to the early eighteenth century. This distinctive type of silk and gold velvet upholstery, made in the Ottoman city of Bursa, changes over the decades; the shifts are driven by diverse factors, including a court-imposed fashion, which was widely imitated; an expansion of markets in the wider Muslim Mediterranean; and a diversification in quality on the part of the weavers, who decided to produce silks aimed at men and women of modest means. The most radical change occurs sometime between 1710 and 1730; the weavers invent an entirely new aesthetic, inspired by pale-ground Indian silks, which were themselves increasingly popular in Constantinople and other Ottoman cities. The paper also touches on the narratives that dominate the study of Ottoman—and wider Islamic—art and how they often impede the study of mass-produced luxury goods; it then suggests a new way forward that considers the markets for and consumption of the objects.

Amanda Phillips received her doctorate from the Department of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the University of Oxford in 2011; she has since worked at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin, as part of a programme created by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence. Her book, Everyday Luxury, about the objects from Ottoman Constantinople—from carpets to dishes made of magic clay, album paintings to chintzes, all from the Berlin collections—is forthcoming in early 2015. She is now a research fellow at the University of Birmingham and is also working with Birmingham Museums Trust to catalogue and interpret their newly discovered collection of Ottoman ceramics and textiles.


DATE: Sunday, June 1, 2014
TIME: 3:30pm
LOCATION: Arlington County Central Library, 2nd Floor Meeting Room, 1015 N Quincy St.
SPEAKERS: Barbara & David Fraser
SUBJECT: Textiles of Central and Eastern Arunachal Pradesh

In rugged terrain between the Tibetan Plateau and the Brahmaputra River, Arunachal Pradesh is home to a rich variety of peoples who speak one of the Tibeto-Burman languages. Their distinctive textiles, which were noted by European scholars as early as the 1860s, continue to be worn, particularly on ceremonial occasions, including feasts in which mithan (semi-wild bovines) are sacrificed. These textiles include war jackets, tunics and loin cloths for men, tunics and wrap skirts for women, shawls for both and specialized paraphernalia for shamans. The Frasers will show textiles of such groups as the Idu Mishmi, Digaru Mishmi, Miju Mishmi, Apatani and Adi Padam and discuss the role of those textiles in their cultures.

Barbara and David Fraser have studied Tibeto-Burman textiles since 2000. Their book Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Myanmar, India and Bangladesh (River Books, 2005) was awarded both the Millia Davenport Publication Award of the Costume Society of America and the R.L. Shep Book Award of the Textile Society of America. They have curated exhibitions at The Textile Museum, the University of Pennsylvania, Denison University and Haverford College. Their receipt of the Ancient and Modern Prize helped finance their studies in Arunachal Pradesh. Barbara is a retired financial services attorney. David is former President of The Textile Museum, former President of Swarthmore College, a medical epidemiologist, a specialist in textile structure and a fiber artist. He wrote A Guide to Weft Twining and Related Structures with Interacting Wefts (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1989) and Ply-split Braided Baskets: Exploring Sculpture in Plain Oblique Twining (Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., 2014).


*DATE: Sunday, September 28, 2014
TIME: noon
LOCATION: To be provided to IHBS members

PROGRAM: Annual Picnic

Details will be provided soon.


DATE: Sunday, November 16, 2014
TIME: 3:00 pm
LOCATION: TBA
SPEAKER: Ann Marie Moeller
SUBJECT: The Element of Surprise in Japanese Kimono Tradition

Japanese textile scholar Ann Marie Moeller will explore the sophisticated level of kimono and obi design in which a garment is made to change appearance depending on lighting or proximity. Patterns can literally appear and disappear due to a passing cloud or the angle of observation. Many different weaving, embroidery and dying techniques are used to achieve these effects. Hidden designs on linings and under kimono can be revealed by the wearer’s movements. In addition, outer wear like haori (kimono jackets) often display a striking lining as the garment is taken off. Few, if any, other cultures have as highly developed an aesthetic of creating garments that surprise in both casual and intimate settings.

Ann Marie Moeller is an independent curator and Japanese textile scholar who has collected kimono since her student years at Harvard. She lectures nationally for a wide variety of institutions including The Smithsonian Associates, The Asia Society, The Textile Museum, The Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, The Waters Art Museum and The Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan. Main author of Reading Kimono: Symbols and Motifs in Japanese Textiles, to be published by Schiffer, she has curated textile exhibitions for the Kennedy Center, the International Monetary Fund, the National Cherry Blossom Festival and the Japan Information and Culture Center, Embassy of Japan.

Some Other Upcoming Textile Events and Other Events of Interest



DATE: April 30, 2014
TIME: Noon to 2:00pm
LOCATION: National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor, Washington, D.C.
EVENT: Roundtable on Reform: US Cultural Property Policy, Law and the Public Interest

The Roundtable will discuss practical steps to harmonize conflicting laws that create uncertainty for museums and private collectors, the current failure by government agencies setting cultural policy to abide by Congressional mandate, and measures to address the lack of clear title to hundreds of thousands of art objects in circulation and in museum collections. Museum and legal specialists will discuss how best to preserve heritage worldwide while enabling the movement of art between nations and cultures and honoring museums’ commitments to research, publish and exhibit the art of the world.
More details here


DATE: May 2014
EVENT: Indonesian Textile Cruise

Members of the International Hajji Baba Society with a love of adventure and Indonesian ikat may be interested in joining a small group of enthusiasts to sail around the Lesser Sunda Islands in Eastern Indonesia from May 8 to May 19, 2014, visiting local village dyers and weavers. The tour will be led by British researchers David and Sue Richardson who gave a talk to some of our members in Washington last September. David and Sue have a special interest in Indonesian textiles having visited almost every part of the archipelago during the past twenty-five years.

More information available here and here with links for additional information.


DATE: September 10-14, 2014
EVENT: Textile Society of America Biennial Symposium
Information here



DATE: September 10-15, 2014
EVENT: Pre-ICOC Tour to Lombardia
Information here



DATE: September 15-21, 2014
EVENT: ICOC Tour of Vienna and Budapest
Information here



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