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Title: A study of designers in the Lyon silk industry 1712-1787.
Author: Miller, Lesley Ellis
Awarding Body: Brighton Polytechnic
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 1988
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Until recently, research on the silk industry in 18th century Lyon has centred round the organisation of the silk weaving guild and of business enterprise, the lives of a few well-known and well-documented individual silk designers who were fine artists in their own right, the stylistic development of silk design and the analysis of the weaves and techniques of production of surviving fabrics. No general survey or analysis of the social and economic function of designers and their role within the industry has been made since E. Leroudier's introductory article 'Les dessinateurs de la Soierie lyonnaise au XVIIIe sibcle', Revue d'Histoire de Lyon (1908, pp. 241-266). This thesis sets out to question Leroudier's presentation. It attempts to reconcile the different approaches mentioned above in order to clarify designers' place in lyonnais manufacturing and society and to establish a clearer idea of the distinctive features of design practice in Lyon. It, therefore, reassesses currently held views on the number and role of silk designers, and the influence and special characteristics of wellknown individuals. It starts from the premise that designers were not purely artists but were also involved in industry. This premise has dictated the use of sources hitherto largely neglected by art and textile historians: private documents such as marriage contracts, inventories and wills; trade and commercial papers; paper designs and fabrics; and finally the more familiar contemporary printed sources. The introductory chapters discuss the context for design in 18th century Lyon: the structure of manufacturing and business and the attention paid to art and design inside and outside manufacturing circles. The following chapters concentrate on the designers: firstly, their social background and status, indications of the status of their occupation; secondly, their training; thirdly, their work; and finally their career prospects. This research suggests that designers existed in substantial numbers in Lyon and enjoyed high status due to their crucial role as providers of designs for the high fashion brocaded silks for which Lyon was famed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Silk industry in 18c. Lyon History Textile fabrics Fibers