Project Title: Chinese painted silks: Craftmanship and fashion in the 18th century
School: History of Art, School of Humanities
About Helen’s Research
This research focuses on Chinese painted silks of the type exported to the West for clothing and furnishing in the eighteenth century and traces their development, global impact, and appeal through several case studies and in collaboration with National Trust for Scotland and China National Silk Museum. Made by Chinese craftsmen ostensibly for European and American markets, Chinese painted trade silks reflect multiple cultural traditions and aesthetic preferences and provide unique insights into the mechanisms of global cultural exchange in the early modern period. The research will explore and highlight the role of Chinese material culture within histories of Western fashionable dress, challenging the Eurocentric view of fashion as a Western phenomenon.