The Materials Special Interest Group of the Art Libraries Society of North America, in partnership with the ARLIS/NA Fashion, Textile, and Costume Special Interest Group and the ARLIS/NA International Relations Committee, announce a study tour of leather, textile, and fashion-related sites within the Italian region of Tuscany from October 16-22, 2016.
On the Material Trail: Inside the Culture of ‘Made in Italy’ is envisioned as a highly immersive program in a location like no other in the world. It is a unique opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes experience of the industries that craft the luxury products that define the excellence of ‘Made in Italy.’ Designed for librarians, curators, and those interested in and whose subject areas cover these industries, program attendees will have guided access to sites and learn from experts to gain a thorough understanding of Italy’s famous culture of making and design that is both centuries old and contemporary.
On the Material Trail will be based in the town of San Miniato in the heart of Tuscany halfway between Florence and Pisa and is accessible via rail and major airports in those two cities. San Miniato is a site on the Via Francigena, a former pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome and now the center of the Tuscan Leather District. Attendees will be welcomed by the Consortium of Vegetable-Tanned Leather, a non-profit association of twenty-two tanneries in the region that promotes the natural beauty and responsible use of this rich material. Our personal guide for this week, Diane Becker has 35 years of experience in Italy: ranging from shoe designer, department chair for Footwear and Accessory Design at Polimoda to trend forecast and brand identity for the luxury leather sector. She is responsible for didactic projects for the Consorzio Vera Pelle and the workshop Craft the Leather.
Further details can be found here.