Charlotte Jane Whitehill (American), Indiana Wreath, 1930. Hand appliquéd, stuffed, and embroidered cotton; hand quilted. Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Charlotte Jane Whitehill, 1955.56.

Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion

Charlotte Jane Whitehill (American), Indiana Wreath, 1930. Hand appliquéd, stuffed, and embroidered cotton; hand quilted. Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Charlotte Jane Whitehill, 1955.56.

Department Staff

Courtney Pierce, Curatorial Assistant
Courtney Pierce is the Curatorial Assistant for the department of Textile Art and Fashion at the Denver Art Museum. Before joining the department in October 2021, Pierce worked for many years as a clothing buyer and visual merchandiser for a fashion company based in Los Angeles, California. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Colorado Denver, and her master’s degree in Art History from the University of Denver. Pierce has previously held internships in the Modern and Contemporary art department of the Denver Art Museum as well as with the Clyfford Still Museum in Denver, where she served as a research assistant.

Stefania Van Dyke, Associate Director, Interpretive Engagement
Stefania Van Dyke is the Associate Director, Interpretive Engagement at the Denver Art Museum. Most recently, she was interpretation lead for Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, and for previous projects like Star Wars™ and the Power of Costume, Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century, and Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio. Stefania is overseeing the reconceptualization of the Thread Studio, an exploratory space adjacent to the Textile Art and Fashion gallery. She has her bachelor's from Columbia University, master's in art history from the University of Chicago, and master's in education in museum education from Bank Street College of Education.

Publications

Starting in 2013, the Textile Art and Fashion department has produced several “companion guides” to exhibitions which have highlighted strengths of the permanent collection, the first covering the Charlotte Hill Grant Collection which consists of late-Qing Chinese court robes and accessories. The second companion guide is a survey of nationally-recognized eighteenth century to contemporary American quilts. The department’s most recent publication focuses on contemporary fashion acquisitions made in conjunction with current curator, Florence Müller’s inaugural exhibition in 2016.

Alice Zrebiec, Threads of Heaven: Silken Legacy of China’s Last Dynasty. Denver Art Museum, 2013.

Alice Zrebiec, Companion to First Glance~Second Look: Quilts from the Denver Art Museum Collection. Denver Art Museum, 2014.

Florence Müller with biographies by Jane Burke, Shock Wave: Japanese Fashion Design, 1980s—90s. Denver: Denver Art Museum, 2016.

Collection Highlights

Browse more objects from the Avenir Institute of Textile Arts and Fashion department in our online collection.

Charlotte Jane Whitehill

Indiana Wreath
Named one of the one hundred best quilts of the twentieth century, Indiana Wreath was only Whitehill’s second applique quilt. Like several other Emporia quilters, Whitehall based her quilt on one made in 1858 by Elizabeth J. Hart that she saw in Marie Webster's influential 1915 book, Quilts: Their Story and How to Make Them.

Charlotte Jane Whitehill (American), Indiana Wreath, 1930. Hand-appliquéd and hand-quilted; stuffed and embroidered cotton. Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Gift of Charlotte Jane Whitehill, 1955.56.

Crazy Quilt
Many motifs in this quilt refer to the Orient, including a kimono-clad girl, rigid and folding fans, vases, and a decorated teapot. These images contrast with Western designs and fabrics. The little girl feeding her cat is based on a populat source -- designs of Kate Greenaway (1846-1901), the English illustrator of children's books.

Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Young, 1984.342

James Koehler

Chief Blanket with Blocks
“Color, structure, and form are the focus of my approach to design,” says artist James Koehler. Here he pays tribute to the dynamic stripes of the Navajo Chief Blanket and the Diamond in the Square pattern of Amish quilts from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but translates and unites these sources into his own distinctive composition.
James Koehler (American). Chief Blanket with Blocks. 2002. hand-dyed wool and cotton tapestry. Neusteter Textile Collection: Funds from Claudia H. de Osborne and Louise Vigoda by exchange. 2002.117.

Olga de Amaral

Notas 2

Olga de Amaral (Colombian), Notas 2, 2005. Woven linen and cotton with applied gesso, gold leaf, acrylic paint, and parchment. Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Gift from the Volunteer Endowment Acquisition Fund in honor of Imelda DeGraw, 2008.893.

Imperial Manchu Woman’s Semiformal Court Robe with Twelve Symbols of Sovereignty

Woman’s Court Robe      
About 1875, Qing dynasty (1644–1911)
China
Silk with metal thread
70 in. w x 53 in. l (177.80 cm x 134.62 cm)
Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Nancy Lake Benson and Bruce Benson
1986.157

The twelve symbols of ancient imperial authority, arranged in three tiers of four--at the neck opening, waist and knees--express the emperor’s imperial authority and qualities as well as his responsibilities to the people he ruled. Originally only the emperor could use the twelve symbols. By the 19th century, however, they also appeared on the robes of the empress, dowager empress and the heir apparent. This robe’s bright yellow ground identifies it as being made for a member of the imperial family. Bats carrying peaches fly near the gold wanshou character, a favorite motif of the Dowager Empress Cixi, wishing the wearer happiness and a long life of ten thousand years. Amid the waves are the Eight Buddhist Precious Things.

Imperial Manchu Woman’s Semiformal Court Robe with Twelve Symbols of Sovereignty. c. 1875. Silk and metal thread embroidery on silk. Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Nancy Lake Benson and Bruce Benson. 1986.157.

Fireman's Coat
Japanese firemen's coats are reversible. When fighting fires, the coat was worn as shown, together with close-fitting trousers, a hood, and gloves. Saturated with water, these garments gave protection against flames. A bold, legible pattern on the back identified the fireman’s brigade. For festive occasions, the pictorial side faced outward. This coat shows the Toad Spirit offering to teach the robber Jiraya magic, provided he used it only to benefit humanity.
Fireman's Coat. late 1800s to early 1900s. Quilted (sashiko) cotton cloth with freehand paste-resist decoration (tsutsugaki). Neusteter Textile Collection: Gift of Mrs. Simon Guggenheim by exchange. 1999.265.
Ensemble: Jacket and Skirt

Comme des Garcons

Ensemble: Jacket and Skirt

Comme des Garçons
Jacket and Skirt
Spring–Summer 1997 collection, “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body”
Nylon/polyurethane stretch gingham with padding
Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Purchased with funds from various donors by exchange, 2016.50A–B

 

 

Evening Gown 09-D07

Christian Dior

Evening Gown 09-D07

Untitled
Christian Dior Original in Canada
Exclusive with Holt Renfrew & Co., Ltd.
Spring-Summer 1953
Silk satin dress with cut-velvet roses
Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Campbell, 2017.352A-C

 

Dress

Anne-Marie Beretta

Dress

Anne-Marie Beretta
Dress
1989
Linen
Neusteter Textile Collection at the Denver Art Museum: Purchased with funds from various donors by exchange, 2016.68

 

Yves Saint Laurent

Catherine Deneuve Black Chiffon Dress

Yves Saint Laurent
Algerian-born, French, 1936-2008
Black Silk Chiffon Dress
Haute Couture Spring–Summer 1982
Worn by Catherine Deneuve
Denver Art Museum: Purchased with funds from the Textile and Fashion Circle and the Hendrie Endowment, 2019.30

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