Florida Institute of Technology’s Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts presents another elegant and entertaining symposium, featuring the 10th annual Ruth Funk Lecturer in Textiles, John E. Vollmer, internationally recognized scholar and owner of Vollmer Cultural Consultants Inc..
Thursday, Feb. 13
“Making Manchu Identity”
Free Admission, 6 p.m.
Gleason Performing Arts Center
Florida Tech Campus
What we wear always signals identity within precisely defined social and cultural contexts. This talk addresses issues about dress related to the Manchu who ruled the Chinese empire as conquering northeast Asians from 1644-1911. Vollmer will explore the myths and realities of Qing dynasty dress, which while emphasizing a distinct alien notion of style and function actually morphed into dress that continues to be viewed as quintessentially “Chinese.”
Friday, Feb. 14
10:30 a.m.: Lecture, “Wedding in Red, tying the knot in traditional China”
11:30 a.m.: Reception and Silent Auction
Denius Student Center, Hartley Room
Tickets: $60 (Limited availability)
While images of make-believe princesses color our perceptions of (and the dress of brides) in Western wedding custom, in traditional China weddings took on the trappings and protocols of the imperial court. Chinese brides were often referred to as “empress for the day,” underscoring the Confucian values of society, which viewed the moral authority of the emperor and his empress in terms of the father and mother of the nation. In assuming the august role of empress for her wedding, brides appropriated the imperial symbols of dragon robes and phoenix crowns and of sedan chairs and processions to signal this major event in a woman’s life.
The lecture explores the Chinese wedding dress and customs from the late imperial period and its continuity and evolution into the modern period.
Contact the Funk Center at (321) 674-8313 for further information.
Background Image: Detail of embroidered silk satin dragon robe, Qianlong period, 1760-1775, formerly in the Myrna Myers Collection, Paris. Photograph © Samuel Myers 2002.