Exhibition Program: Floral Patterns in Indian Textiles

Detail of a textile with a repeating floral pattern
Fragment of chintz (detail), coastal southeast India, made for the Dutch market but found in Japan, 1700-1730. Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection T-2864. Photo by Bruce M. White.


The floral patterned textiles of India remain some of the most iconic of the region's long and illustrious history of textile production and trade. The origins and evolutions of these patterns reflect a fluctuating mix of ancient traditions, foreign influences and shifting fashions, resulting in an incomparably varied and vibrant canon of floral design. 

In this virtual talk, Avalon Fotheringham, curator of the South Asian textile and dress collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, will explore the history of Indian floral-patterned textiles as recorded in sculpture, painting and the finest surviving fabrics preserved in collections today.    

About the Exhibition

Vibrant textiles have long been synonymous with Indian culture. Their distinctive abstract, floral and figurative patterns have inspired countless variations. Featuring masterworks from The Textile Museum Collection and the private collection of Karun Thakar, this major exhibition and accompanying publication showcase court weavings, folk embroideries and other fabrics from the eighth through the early 20th centuries. Learn more about the exhibition.

About Avalon Fotheringham

Avalon Fotheringham is curator for the South Asian textiles and dress collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She studied fiber and material practices at Concordia University, Montréal, and the history of design at the Royal College of Art, London. Before taking up the post of curator she worked as research assistant for the 2015 exhibition The Fabric of India  at the V&A. She is the author of The Indian Textile Sourcebook  (V&A / Thames and Hudson) and a contributing author for the Indian Textiles exhibition catalog.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EDT / 9 a.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About the Series

Virtual and in-person programs explore themes from the exhibition Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and DesignBrowse upcoming programs