Study of the Coptic Fabric Collection

The “Chemnitz Fabric Collection” has long been known for its extraordinary pattern studio featuring the 19th-century textile industry. Not only did fabrics from around the world make their way into the museum, but also to numerous local manufacturers. The textile designs of that period – from historicism to Jugendstil – were inspired by these collections of handcrafted fabrics. Today, many years after the demise of the textile industry in Chemnitz, these foreign-made fabrics have lost much of their significance. Tapestries, blankets and pieces of clothing, such as tunics from Upper Egypt featuring stunning figurative depictions, are preserved in darkened storehouses and yet are fading from public memory despite their high quality and historic value. The fellowship intends to address this problem.

The fellow will scientifically examine and categorise the collection of Coptic fabrics – textiles of late antiquity dating back to the 4th to 9th century AD – in order prepare the specimens for a major exhibition marking the 875th anniversary of Chemnitz in 2018. Most of the pieces are decorative in nature, such as interior textiles and large-format robes. The ornamental elements and pictures on such fabrics and clothing provide important insights into the dealings of society in late antiquity.

The project will enable the fellow to share expertise with other collections, position his/her new findings in a global context, and put the items in the Chemnitz collection to good use.

The In­ter­na­tional Mu­seum Fel­low­ship pro­gramme

With this funding programme, the Federal Cultural Foundation enables guest curators and researchers from abroad to work at museums or public collections in Germany for a duration of 18 months.

Bi­anca Tu­dor-Vin­ther, Fel­low at the Kun­st­sammlungen Chem­nitz

Bianca Tudor-Vinther holds a Master of Art History from the University of Fine Arts in Bucharest and a PhD in Egyptology and Coptology from the University of Goettingen, Germany. Her thesis was published in 2011 and deals with the topic of "Christian funerary stelae of the Byzantine and Arab periods from Egypt". Bianca Tudor-Vinther specializes in the study of archaeological textiles from Egypt dating in the Late Antique and Early Islamic period. Within the last years she was successfully involved in cultural projects across Europe. She was scientific curator of a temporary exhibition of Coptic textiles from the Swiss private collection Bouvier in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and event manager in the Danish Cultural Institute Benelux. Not last she collaborated with the Brussels office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).


Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz

Theaterplatz 1
09111 Chemnitz