"English Medieval Embroidery" by Clare Browne

English Medieval Embroidery Opus Anglicanum Clare Browne, Glyn Davies, M. A. Michael, Michaela Zoschg

Publication date:
24 Aug 2021
Yale University Press
324 pages: 279 x 229mm
160 color + 100 b-w illus.
Sales territories:

An introduction to the design, production and use of luxury embroideries in medieval England (c. 1200–1530)

In medieval Europe, embroidered textiles were indispensable symbols of wealth and power. Owing to their quality, complexity and magnificence, English embroideries enjoyed international demand and can be traced in Continental sources as opus anglicanum (English work). Essays by leading experts explore the embroideries’ artistic and social context, while catalogue entries examine individual masterpieces. Medieval embroiderers lived in a tightly knit community in London, and many were women who can be identified by name. Comparisons between their work and contemporary painting challenge modern assumptions about the hierarchy of artistic media. Contributors consider an outstanding range of examples, highlighting their craftsmanship and exploring the world in which they were created.

Clare Browne is an independent scholar, formerly curator of textiles at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Glyn Davies is head of curatorial at the Museum of London, previously curator of medieval art at the Victoria and Albert Museum. M. A. Michael is professorial fellow in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow. Michaela Zoschg is curator of medieval art at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

"Superb, razor-sharp reproductions which give a proper sense of the beauty and power of the medium… its intellectual value is undoubted."—Paul Binski, Art Newspaper

“There are over 160 full colour illustrations found herein and a wealth of historical information offered in the essays that accompany each chapter. If you are interested in Opus Anglicanum or the inheritance of medieval English Catholic culture, this is a work you will want to pick up for your collection.”—Shawn Tribe, Liturgical Arts Journal

"Not only a catalogue and scholarly monograph, but a visual feast, with magnificent colour plates on virtually every page, bursting at the seams with titbits of fascinating information. It’s the sort of book that makes you want to hug yourself with glee: revelatory and as exquisitely produced as the medieval embroidery it celebrates."—Juliet Barker, Literary Review

‘This beautifully produced new book […] fills a notable gap in current literature on English embroidery.’ — Frances Pritchard, Textile History

“First published to accompany the V&A’s exhibition of English Medieval embroidery in 2016, this new edition confirms its status a valuable reference on the subject.”—Embroidery