Reconnections along the Silk Road: Restoring and Reconstructing Textiles from Afar: 7th Symposium of the International Association for the Study of Silk Road Textiles (IASSRT)

Reconnections along the Silk Road: Restoring and Reconstructing Textiles from Afar: 7th Symposium of the International Association for the Study of Silk Road Textiles (IASSRT)

Norwich, 15–18th October 2023

The 7th annual meeting of the International Association for the Study of Silk Road Textiles (IASSRT) was held in the UK for the first time in October 2023 thus providing an opportunity to extend the group’s horizons to the northwest edges of the Silk Roads.

[Left] Attendees and speakers gathered outside Norwich Castle Museum where the first day of the symposium took place.
[Right] For the second day, the conference moved to another historic Norwich venue and was held in Norwich Cathedral.

IASSRT has previously had almost no participation from scholars, practitioners and curators working on the history of medieval textiles in Britain and we took the opportunity to address this, organising a panel on ‘English and Norwich Textiles’. We were especially pleased that both established and younger scholars agreed to speak, the latter including Agata Gomolka presenting her research on the silks from the grave of Walter Lyhert, Bishop of Norwich (1446–1472) and Ruth Battersby showing textile and pattern books from Norwich Castle Museum. Norwich Cathedral also invited delegates to see some of their silk vestments. There was discussion about the potential for future research projects to include this material as part of the Nara to Norwich project.

Over the next three months we will have a weekly post of the abstracts of several of the papers given at the symposium, leading the way to our forthcoming Nara to Norwich story on silk. Browse our current selection of stories here.

Thanks are due to Helen Persson, University of Glasgow, Olivia Butler, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, UEA, and our colleagues from the China National Silk Museum—Li Jinfang, Lu Fangfang, Zhang Chengming, Zhao Feng and Zhou Yajuan— for their help in organising the symposium.

Thanks also to the Pasold Research Fund.

Susan Whitfield


2023 Conference Programme