Wednesday, September 30 12:30PM
THE FABRIC OF CIVILIZATION
by VIRGINIA POSTREL
with CAMERON TAYLOR-BROWN
The story of humanity is the story of textiles -- as old as civilization itself. Since the first thread was spun, the need for textiles has driven technology, business, politics, and culture.
In The Fabric of Civilization, Virginia Postrel synthesizes groundbreaking research from archaeology, economics, and science to reveal a surprising history. From Minoans exporting wool colored with precious purple dye to Egypt, to Romans arrayed in costly Chinese silk, the cloth trade paved the crossroads of the ancient world. Textiles funded the Renaissance and the Mughal Empire; they gave us banks and bookkeeping, Michelangelo's David and the Taj Mahal. The cloth business spread the alphabet and arithmetic, propelled chemical research, and taught people to think in binary code.
Assiduously researched and deftly narrated, The Fabric of Civilization tells the story of the world's most influential commodity.
Virginia Postrel is an award-winning journalist and independent scholar. She is a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion and has been a columnist for The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. She is the author of the highly acclaimed The Substance of Style and The Power of Glamour. Her research is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She lives in Los Angeles, California.
Cameron Taylor-Brown has immersed herself in the worlds of fiber, education and commerce since the 1970s. She studied fiber art at the University of California, Berkeley with artist Ed Rossbach and textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. She worked in New York City as a stylist of upholstery and home furnishing fabrics, taught textile design at the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and worked as an exhibition curator. Since 1985, Taylor-Brown has lived in Los Angeles where she maintains a studio and is active in several arts organizations. She was a founding board member of the Textile Group of Los Angeles, a past President of California Fibers and Designing Weavers, is a current board member of the Fowler Textile Council and serves on the advisory board of Textile Arts Los Angeles. She also founded ARTSgarage, a textile resource center in Los Angeles.