/ Congress Archive

CIETA Congress 2023

Renaissances and Revivals

Conventions where we meet in person to discuss research and objects and also visit textile collections together have always been part of the CIETA’s activities. Every other year, the CIETA invites its members to an international congress defined by a general theme. The congresses are held in different cities, usually in the end of September or the beginning of October. Over three days, papers introduce the participants to ongoing projects, the results of cutting edge research, important collections and individual textile objects. Visits and gallery talks complement the programme, and on an additional excursion day the participants are invited to museums and treasuries in the area.

Recent congresses have been held in:

  • 2022 – Swiss National Museum, Zurich: “Excavations and Discoveries”
  • 2019 – Deutsches Textilmuseum, Krefeld: “Dyestuffs and Colours in Textiles – Materiality and Significance”
  • 2017 – The State Hermitage, St. Petersburg: “Power, Rank and Status – Textiles and Representation”
  • 2015 – Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin: “Textiles in Transfer and Transformation“
  • 2013 – Musées des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, Lyon “The History of Textile Collections and Textile Research”
  • 2011 – The National Museum, Copenhagen: “Cultural Encounters in Textiles and Costume between Northern Europe and the World”
  • 2009 – Musées Royaux d’Art et d’Histoire, Brussels: “Textiles in Trade (woven textiles, lace, tapestries…)”

The 30th CIETA congress was hosted from 2 to 5 October 2023 by Wawel Royal Castle, Kraków (Poland).

We were pleased to welcome the CIETA members in Kraków.

If Renaissance describes the artistic exploration and adaptation of an idealized antiquity, art history has identified numerous renaissances (including similar movements in other than the Western tradition) in which expressions of a much-admired past have been studied and eventually adapted to new formal and technical solutions. Revivals are a recurring phenomenon in most cultures around the world, in which motifs, forms, and stylistic elements first developed in previous periods are taken up in new contexts. Artists and artisans have drawn inspiration from the past without resorting to a mere copying or imitating of their sources.

The history of textile arts is rich in examples of patterns, styles, and techniques transferred and varied in later periods, sometimes repeatedly, imbuing them with new meaning in the process. Artistic interest in historic solutions and appreciation of the cultural heritage have inspired the choice of specific techniques, the design of individual textile objects, but also the development of collections, the creation of interiors and the styling of contemporary fashions. Analyses of the relations here involved and comparisons between first inventions and later adaptations or variations can open up new fields of research and also further our understanding of creative processes.

Kraków, famous centre of the “Renaissance of the North” was the perfect place to explore strategies and techniques of engaging with previous periods and translating their achievements into new artistic languages.


We enjoyed meeting the CIETA members in Kraków for a rich programme of papers, meetings and excursions. That year, we introduced some new elements, including a platform for the presentation of new projects, a round-table discussion on museum and digitalization and a meeting space for the young and early career CIETA members.

We thank all those who helped to prepare and organize the congress!



Programme (200.30 KB)
Excursion programme (129.85 KB)