Textile art is one of the most fundamental mediums of art. One of the two pieces of art discussed in the following section is the robe of the Empress Dowager Cixi and the other piece of art is the Amish crazy quilt. The Textile Art The textile art has been just as famous throughout the history as it is today. Its immense popularity can be attributed to the fact that fabric has been one of the most fundamental needs of humans at all times. Cloth was needed not only to cover the body, but also to protect it against the harsh effects of the weather. Besides, cloth is used as bed-spreads, table tops, curtains, nets and several other things of huge domestic significance. Its great usability is what always renders the textile art extreme value, importance and appreciation. The Empress’s Dress and the Amish Crazy Quilt: Contrast and comparison Clothes an individual chooses to cover the body essentially depict the taste of the individual and play a big role in improving or tarnishing the looks of the individual. A cloth may be of very good color otherwise, though if it does not go well with the complexion of the person wearing it, the beauty of the color loses its significance and it looks more odd than enchanting. On the other hand, if the color of the clothes is matched with the complexion, it speaks volumes about the taste and sense of style of the person wearing it. That is the fundamental reason why we can see the yellow dress of the Empress bordered with a thick strip whose dark color compliments the central portion as shown in the figure below: Empress Dowager Cixi’s Robe (“Denver Art Museum”). In order to facilitate the comparison and contrast the Amish crazy quilt is shown in the following figure: The Amish crazy quilt (“Denver Art Museum”). Period of the chosen art models: Crazy quilts were extremely popular in the US starting from the early 1870s till late 1920s. The dress in the second picture belongs to the Empress Dowager Cixi who was born in 1835 and died in 1908. The two fabrics essentially existed in the same period, with the quilt being in fashion for about one to two decades after the death of the Empress. Market of the two art models: The quilt and dress differ in that the former was a public property and anyone could purchase or somehow acquire a quilt of his/her own whereas the dress solely was the property of the Empress Dowager Cixi and could not be accessed by common people. The Empress that possessed the dress was in charge of the Manchu throne of China whereas the crazy quilts were as famous and common among the ordinary people as the big landlords. Material: The material used for the making of the dress and the quilt was different. The dress of the Empress is made up of lightweight gauze and is suitable for wearing in the summer season whereas solid colored materials and fabrics were made use of to make the Amish crazy quilts, and unlike the dress of the Empress, these quilts were suitable for use in the winter season. The dress and quilt were similar in the quality that neither of the two had excessive ornamentation, though if the two were to be compared, the quilt had more ornaments than the dress. The beauty of these quilts was that they were made in a highly informal fashion. Non-Amuish makers of the quilt kept collecting irregular and rough silk and velvet fabrics in order to
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