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Grant number like: FB-58229-15

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Regina A. Root
College of William and Mary (Williamsburg, VA 23186-0002)

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 12/31/2016

The Conquest Imagined: The Tillett Tapestry and Post-Revolutionary Mexico

The so-called Tillett tapestry, with an estimated fifty-five million stitches and 106-feet in length, represents chronologically the conquest of Mexico from both indigenous and Spanish points of view. Completed in 1977, it was created by textile designer Leslie Tillett with the collaboration of hundreds of embroiderers in Mexico. This book-length project details the cultural history of this unique artifact, detailing its emergence from the art and textile design movements of post-revolutionary Mexico, the evolution from Tillett's own research and designs from the 1950s and 1960s, numerous border crossings, and its particular role as a tool for cultural diplomacy in the 1980s. Through archival research, oral interviews, analysis of the tapestry and hundreds of prints and paintings, this project represents the first, definitive study of the multivalent Tillett tapestry and opens up new areas of research in the cultural history of design and textile history.