Visitor of the month

Yoko Hanegreefs' books

In this series, we highlight a visitor of the MoMu Library doing research in our archives.

Name: Yoko Hanegreefs
Nationality: Belgian
Occupation: First Year student

Who are you and what is your research about?
I am a first year student of the Conservation and Restoration of Textile course at the Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. I am currently doing research for an assignment about embroidery. As we have to focus on one technique, I am particularly researching crewel embroidery. We are required to write a report about the history and technique itself and make an embroidery piece applying that same technique.

Crewel is an embroidery technique that originated in England and it was later introduced to America. It is a technique of woolen thread on very fine linen and it can be recognized by typical motifs of animals, birds, flowers and leaves. These designs were mostly embroidered on the upholstery of furniture, curtains, clothing, etc. The different colours of threads combined, gradually blend in within a part of the design, therefore making the crewel embroidery look unique.

What brings you to our library?
While I was studying art history at the K.U. Leuven, I was required to take on an internship. They advised us to choose an internship at an ‘institution’ that was related somehow to the subject of my thesis: Dandies. So I chose to do my internship at the MoMu Library, as they own the appropriate material and information for my embroidery assignment. In general, a dandy is known as an English man from the 19th century who would pay a lot of attention to his appearance. A dandy would not really have a job, living the lifestyle of an aristocrat, although most of the time he would not be really an aristocrat. The dandies appeared in the early 19th century and have evolved over the time. Nowadays it is still a broadly known term. The best-known 19th century dandies are Beau Brummell and Oscar Wilde.

Did you find the publications you were looking for?
I did not really have a specific bibliography with me when I first went to the MoMu library to work on my assignment. So it is not about whether I found the resources, it is more about finding the appropriate information on the subject. Although I found a lot of information in some areas, it would have been better to have some more specific information. But overall I did find what I was looking for.

The books that I used the most were; A History of Western Embroidery by Mary Eirwen Jones (1969), The Art of Crewel Embroidery by Mildred J. Davis (1962), Crewel Embroidery in England by Joan Edwards (1975), etc.

What is the next step in you research?
I now need to gather all my findings, historical and technical aspects of the crewel embroidery, into a document. So there is not really that much more research to be done. After I produce this document, the practical part of the assignment will take place, which is to make a piece of crewel embroidery.

What is it that you really like about the MoMu Library?
If I have to name one thing that I really like about the library, it has to be the service. I have visited my share of libraries and this one really stands out. The environment and atmosphere is great. Birgit and Lutgart are incredibly helpful, which makes the library an enjoyment to visit.