Sunday 29 July 2012

Lily, Elizabeth and Jack Yeats and Church Sodality Banners

In the latest edition of Text from the Textile Society, Nicola Gordon Bowe describes the revival in hand embroidery in Ireland in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Famous amongst those leading the revival were Lily and Elizabeth Yeats, sisters of William Butler Yeats (the poet) and Jack Yeats (the artist). Inspired by William Morris, the sisters worked with the Dun Emer Guild. Their aim was to find a use for Irish hands in the making of beautiful things. They educated young girls local girls to work with Irish-sourced materials honest and true. Here you can see Lily and her students at work - and behind them are church sodality banners for which they became well-regarded.

Here is a finished sodality banner signed Lily Yeats and as you can see it bears the initials of the designer in the lower left - JB, for Jack Butler (Yeats). You can read more about this fascinating and important embroidery revival movement in the Textile Society's journal Text. Even if you cannot attend the exceptional events and meetings, the full colour journal with over 100 pages is well worth the subscription. Click here for more details.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post about one of the unsung heroines of the Arts & Crafts! Thank you!