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International scholar discusses historic Bayeux Ta...

International scholar discusses historic Bayeux Tapestry at MTSU

An expert on one of the most famous pieces of material culture in the Western world will share her analysis of the historical artifact at MTSU Friday, May 6, in a free public event.

Dr. Gale Owen-Crocker, director of the Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom and an expert in medieval clothing and textiles

Dr. Gale Owen-Crocker

Dr. Gale Owen-Crocker will discuss “The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry” at 6 p.m. May 5 in Room 206 of Todd Hall on the MTSU campus.

The Bayeux Tapestry is an embroidered cloth measuring 20 inches in height and almost 200 feet in length. It depicts the 11th-century conquest of England by William, Duke of Normandy, in the Battle of Hastings against Harold, Earl of Wessex.

CHP logo webExperts believe William’s half-brother, Bishop Odo, commissioned the tapestry in the 1070s.

Owen-Crocker, professor emerita at the University of Manchester in the United King and a former director of the Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies there, directed a five-year project, “The Lexis of Cloth and Clothing.” Her chief research interests are Anglo-Saxon literature and culture and medieval dress and textiles.

She is co-founder and editor of the journal “Medieval Clothing and Textiles” and was chief editor of the “Brill Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450.”

“Even though it documents the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, it wasn’t made in Normandy,” said Dr. Stacey Graham, research professor for MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation. “It was made in England.”

This panel segment from the Bayeux Tapestry depicts cavalry and foot soldiers in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Medieval clothing and textiles scholar Gale Owen-Crocker of the Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom will discuss the tapestry at MTSU Friday, May 5. (Photo courtesy of www.hastings1066.com)

This panel segment from the Bayeux Tapestry depicts cavalry and foot soldiers in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Medieval clothing and textiles scholar Gale Owen-Crocker of the Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom will discuss the tapestry at MTSU Friday, May 5. (Photo courtesy of www.hastings1066.com)

The linen embroidery with woolen yarns consists of scores of scenes from the conflict depicted in vibrant colors that have endured over time. It is labeled with Latin titles sewn into the fabric and is preserved under bulletproof glass at the Musee de la Tapisserie de Bayeux in Bayeux, Normandy, in France.

“Not only is it preserved, but mostly it is in such condition that you can read all the words,” said Graham. “There’s still so much detail about the clothes they wore, the weapons, the horses … you get a lot of really good detail about the culture.”

“The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry” is sponsored by the Center for Historic Preservation and is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the center at 615-898-2947 or histpres@mtsu.edu.

— Gina K. Logue (gina.logue@mtsu.edu)


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