Benaki museum: clothwork

By: | Post date: July 3, 2023 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Culture, Greece

The Benaki Museum has a few ancient bits and pieces, and a quite decent Byzantine collection, a large part of it, to my surprise, originating as family heirlooms of refugees from Turkey.
But the real point of the museum is its folk art exhibit, upstairs. Rather early on, this tapestry, whose geometry I recognized even before I read the label saying it was from Sitia, late 18th century.
There is clothing and cloth work here dating back to the 16th century, and I was astonished how well preserved it all is.
No photo description available.
The highlight of the museum is its vast collection of regional dress, and though there is an overwhelming amount of it from a very wide range of regions, you do quickly realize that they are not actually that different. Up close, the recurring details are a lot more obvious. Men’s vests on the islands, for example, are pretty much the same.
The picture of women’s clothing was distorted by the fact that bridal dresses were the likeliest to have been preserved, and were thus over represented. They were heavy and rich, and would have immobilized anyone wearing them.
I singled out these two to photograph is a shout out to my good friend George
Baloglou. Two dresses from Cappadocia. The left from Niğde, the right from his father’s town of Sille, near Konya.

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