A Living History
Part of the appeal to today’s artists comes from our basic need for stories. “Sequential narrative goes back to ancient times,” says the Met’s Campbell. “Tapestry, because of its scale, provides a place for lots of narrative.” That was part of the appeal for William Morris, who led a mini revival in the late 19th century because of his fondness for medieval arts. “And there was a further renaissance in the 1930s and ’40s” among French artists like Jean Lurçat, says Campbell.
Pictured above: Led Zeppelin founder and lead guitarist Jimmy Page collects Pre-Raphaelite tapestries such as The Arming and Departure of the Knights of the Round Table on the Quest for the Holy Grail (1890–1894) by Edward Burne-Jones. It is on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through May 19. See their website for more information.