Vackert och värdigt : Liturgiska textilier från svenska ateljéer 1880 - 1930
Sammanfattning: This thesis deals with the production of liturgical textiles in five Swedish studios between 1880 and 1930. It is based on a survey of what was delivered to and preserved in the buildings of the Church of Sweden, more than 4,000 recorded objects. Ecclesiastical liturgical textile art in Sweden forms part of an uninterrupted tradition from the Middle Ages.A new era in ecclesiastical textiles began in Sweden in five major studios in Stockholm and Göteborg. Earlier production during the 19th century had become increasingly stereotypical and there was little interest in ecclesiastical art and liturgy in the parishes of the Swedish church.My survey of this extensive material has enabled me to make conclusions about when new textiles were produced and where, as well as when important changes took place. The iconography, symbols, figurative motifs and texts used in the textiles reveal trends in the historical development of the church’s liturgy. It is also possible to see when the different liturgical colours began to come back into use. Differences in the designs of the textiles show which artistic figures had a dominant influence on ecclesiastical liturgical textiles at a certain time. Five sections in chapter IV deal with a few larger special commissions. The first were for two newly-built churches in the early 1910s by two eminent architects who also designed the textiles. The third church was provided with new textiles in 1917 in connection with an extensive restoration. The fourth case concerns a private initiative to acquire new textiles for an old church. Finally, the ecumenical archbishop’s robes were produced for the Archbishop Nathan Söderblom and worn at the ecumenical meeting in 1925. The archbishop had a firm opinion about its iconographic programme.The five colours were launched in practice on the west coast of Sweden during the 1880s and 1890s. The textile artist Agnes Branting introduced them at the Stockholm Exhibition in 1897. Supplementary commissions for white and green textiles were made from the parishes, for both frontals and chasubles at the end of the 1920s.A wealth of different motifs and differences began to appear between the iconography of the various studios in the 20th century. By no means all liturgical textiles were provided with texts, but enough to make it possible to describe a new trend.Many women and a few male artists developed their aesthetic expression working with ecclesiastical textiles during the fifty years covered by this thesis. The work of the professional studios was fundamental for the development of many young women into resolute, modern professional practitioners.What was linked to the ecclesiastical, the sacred, found expression and was described in words such as beautiful, true and dignified. The textiles embodied an intention to enhance the aesthetic values of worship and ecclesiastical space, to add variation and solemnity. This involved a deeper and more widespread use of motifs and symbols, of high-quality material and of craftsmanship. This study has contributed new knowledge about the period, its aesthetics and its theology.
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