Virtual Lecture 30: The History and Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry with Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer

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The History and Mysteries of the Bayeux Tapestry

Lecturer: Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
Live Lecture Date: Saturday, July 8, 2023 1PM Eastern
Live Lecture Registration: June 16-July 6, 2023 1PM Eastern
Format: Live Lecture Only (There won’t be a recording for this lecture)

The Bayeux Tapestry (actually, an embroidery) is a fascinating example of eleventh century needlework. This talk discusses its history, both the history depicted on the Tapestry and the history of the Tapestry over the almost 1000 years of its existence, including a few narrow escapes. Mysteries of the tapestry include questions about what some scenes depict (the Latin phrases on the cloth are sometimes very inadequate) and who commissioned, designed, and embroidered it. You’ll also learn about the stitch used for most of the embroidery, the Bayeux stitch, and how to do it. Attendees will receive bibliography that lists several books about the Tapestry and some needlework shops that sell kits for reproductions of some scenes.

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Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer started embroidering when she was six years old, and learned many techniques from her mother, who was an avid embroiderer. When she took early retirement in 2011, she joined the Embroiderers Guild of America, and has taken advantage of opportunities to learn even more techniques. Sometime in the distant past, she learned about the Bayeux Tapestry, and put it on her bucket list. She finally visited it in 2018. Before her visit, she read a book about it, which raised questions, which led to reading more and more books about it, which led to answers or potential answers to some questions, but also to more questions. The material on the Tapestry was so fascinating that she decided to put together a talk about it, to share all these tidbits of knowledge (and questions!).