International Symposium: Historical Fabrics in a Digital World. The Textile Collections of Reutlingen University (14-15 November 2019)

General information

This international symposium will examine the past, present, and future of historical collections from Europe, Japan, South America, and India. Themes relevant to a wide range of textile collections across the continent will be covered and a special focus of the symposium will be on the Japanese collection of the Reutlingen University which was brought to Germany by the German doctor Dr. Erwin von Baelz (1849-1913). The Japanese collection has been the subject of scholarly research over the last years and this symposium aims to publicize and discuss the results of the surveys, as well as create connections to other collections and specialists working in these fields.  

The panels in the symposium will discuss the highpoints of the Reutlingen collections in the context of 19th and early 20th-century textile collecting and will discuss future directions of historical textile collections. The panels are: 

  • The Fabric Collections of Reutlingen University
  • Historical Japanese Fabric Collections - other Institutions
  • European Fabric Collections
  • Non-European Collections
  • Digitization, Preservation and Future Research

Symposium program,Thursday 14th November

10:00                 Guided tours of the Japanese Collection of Reutlingen University
                          for participants and students
(with Prof. Dr. Dr. Eugen Wendler,      
Emeritus of Reutlingen University)

13:00                 Welcome
Prof. Dr. Hendrik Brumme (President of Reutlingen University)
                          Ministerialdirektor Ulrich Steinbach (Ministry of Science, Research
                          and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg)
                          Prof. Dr. Jochen Strähle (Dean of the School of Textiles & Design,
                          Reutlingen University)

                          Panel 1: Textile Collections of Reutlingen University
13:45                Regine Lechler-Fiola and Prof. Dr. Richard Schilling
                          Introduction and History of the Historical Textile Collections of
                          Reutlingen University 

                          Panel 2: The Japanese Collection of Reutlingen University

14:00                 Prof. Dr. Kazuto Sawada (National Museum of Japanese History)
                          The Baeltz Collection of Japan Textiles at Reutlingen University –
                          Outline, Special Features and Significance.

14:30                 Prof. Dr. Hans Bjarne Thomsen (University of Zurich)
                          Fragments of Japan: Western Practices of Collecting Textile Samples

15:30                 Simone Preiser (University of Zurich)
                          The Japanese Textile Collection of Erwin von Baeltz: Art Meets Craft –
                          The Elaborated Craft of the Textile Arts during the Edo Period

                         Panel 3: Other Japanese Collections

16:00                Dr. Mei Mei Rado
                          S.Bing's Japanese Textiles: Centering on the Havemeyer Collection    
                          at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Symposium program, Friday 15th November


                         Panel 3: Other Japanese Collections

9:00                  Prof. Dr. Chikako Shigemori Bučar (University of Ljubljana)
                         Japanese Textile Samples in the Ivan Jager Collection in Ljubljana,

9:30                  Stephanie Lovász (Curator, Museum der Kulturen Basel)
                         Textilien aus Okinawa – Eine Sammlung und ihre Sammler am
                          Museum der Kulturen Basel (German)                         

                         Panel 4: European Collections

10:00                Dr. Barbara Karl (Director, Textilmuseum St.Gallen)
                         The Collections of the Library of the Textilmuseum St.Gallen

11:00                Dr. Karl Borromäus Murr (Director, Staatliches Textilmuseum
                         A Philosophical Perspective on Fabric Samples in Textile Collections

11:30                Prof. Dr. Dorothee Haffner (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft
                         Historical Textile Pattern Books from the Former Berlin Weaving

12:00                Kerstin Stöver and Luisa Leuner (Kunstgewerbemuseum der
                         Staatlichen Kunstsammlung Dresden)
                         Ostasiatische Textilien des Kunstgewerbemuseums Dresden als
                         Lehrmittel der Kunstgewerbeschule (German)

                         Panel 5: Mingei in Practice

13:30                 Prof. Dr. Birgitt Borkopp-Restle (University of Bern)
                         The Textile Manufactures of India – Pattern Books of Indian Textiles in
                         the Reutlingen Collection

14:00                 Katalin Nagy (Deutsches Textilmuseum Krefeld)
                         The Pre-Columbian Textile Collection of the German Textile Museum

14:30                 Daniela Biermann M.A. 
                         Archäologische Fragmente aus Peru in der Textilsammlung der
                         Hochschule Reutlingen (German)

                         Panel 6: Digitization, Preservation, and Future Research                    

15:15                Claudia Schmid M.A. (Hochschule Luzern Design und
                         Kunst/Textilmuseum St.Gallen)
                         Textildesign als Kulturerbe."Silk Memory" im Kontext der historischen
                         Studiensammlung (German)

15:45                Francesco Montuori (University of Leiden)
                         Advantages of Digital Exhibitions in Preserving Kimonos

16:15                Torsten Bäz (Cammann Gobelin Manufaktur, Braunsdorf) 
                         Bestimmung von Textilmustern für authentische Gewebe-
                         Produktion (German)

16:45                Dr. Konrad Scheurmann (Technische Universität Dresden) 
                         Farben, Muster, Materialien –Verwoben, Verflochten, Verstrickt:
                         Recherchen zur farbigen Gestimmtheit des 20. Jahrhunderts (German)

17:15-17:45      Conclusion                  



The regular participation fee for the Textile Symposium is 30,00 Euros for both days, including beverages and snacks. Participation for students is free of charge, registration is required (see registration for students below).

With your registration, you can also enlist for a guided tour of the historical textile collection of Reutlingen University (November 14, 2019, at 10.00 a.m.).

To register as a regular or student participant please follow this link

If you have any questions, please contact us under 

This symposium is organized by the Fakultät Textil & Design/Hochschule Reutlingen, Universität Bern, Universität Zürich, National Museum of Japanese History (Sakura City, Japan), National Institutes for the Humanities (Tokyo), and Förderverein Campus Reutlingen e.V.