Education & Travel

Travel Opportunities

TAC tours offer a unique textile experience – open only to TAC members or perspective tour participants who join the Textile Arts Council (TAC).

Tour to London & Bath
September 24 to October 2, 2010

Led by Melissa Leventon, former Textile Curator-in-Charge at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, this nine-day tour will give participants a unique insight into museum collections in London and Bath, visits to artisans’ studios and some of the finest textile art dealers in England. The tour is planned to coincide with two excellent exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which overlap by only two days: Serge Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Rousses, the V&A’s much-anticipated major retrospective exhibition marking the centenary of the Ballets Russes and Grace Kelly: Style Icon, which features 50 examples of high fashion and film costume from Kelly’s spectacular wardrobe, including the lace dress she wore for her civil marriage to Prince Rainier and couture ensembles from the 1960s and 1970s. Other planned tour highlights include the Fashion Museum in Bath, the Spitalfields Weaver’s House, Marloes Ten Bhomer’s Studio, the Fan Museum in Greenwich and Hampton Court Palace. We will be going behind the scenes at some of these venues.

Melissa Leventon is a costume historian and senior adjunct professor in the Fashion Design and Visual Studies departments at California College of the Arts and works professionally as a museum consultant and appraiser. She received her MA in Art History/History of Dress from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Melissa’s last tour for TAC was in 2004 and we are delighted that she will once again place her insights into European costume and textiles and connections to British collections at our disposal. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity!

Cost of the tour is $2950 based on a group of 15-19 (double occupancy). This cost includes accommodations, travel during the tour, entry fees to museums and cultural events and some meals (breakfasts, 2 dinners and one lunch) and a $200 tax-deductible donation to the Textile Arts Council. Cost does not include airfare, airport tax, visas, tips and gratuities for local tour leader and bus and personal expenses such as laundry. The travel agent is offering airfare at $830, including airport transportation. Travel insurance is mandatory and can also be purchased through the travel agent. Please note, the cost of the tour will increase if there are fewer than 15 participants.

For more information and to register for the tour, please contact Trish Daly, TAC office manager at 415-750-3627, email: or Peggy Gordon, tour coordinator at 415-664-7035, email:

Bali and the island of Timor

Travel plans are shaping up for a special trip to Bali and the island of Timor, late July into August 2011.

The Indonesian archipelago was once the crossroads of the world. For over 3,500 years people have come here seeking fragrant spices. The textile arts have been central in this story of trade, conquest, and ancient tradition. Travel through these islands grants us access to one of the most diverse regions of textile art on earth. Spice trade influences juxtapose with indigenous motifs throughout the archipelago: echoes of Indian trade cloths abound; imagery relates to defining aspects of the local environment; and history and genealogy entwine. Uses range from traditional dress, to offerings, to the paraphernalia of marriages and funerals.

Our gateway to this world is through the island of Bali, where we steep ourselves in the island’s rich traditions with stays in Ubud and in Eastern Bali. The majority of Indonesia’s weavers live beyond Bali, in isolated communities on remote islands, where the forces of modernity have not yet rendered weaving a worthless pursuit. Travelling to the island of Timor, we will visit several weavers’ cooperatives with which Threads of Life and the YPBB Foundation are working, helping women weavers create high-quality textiles that balance their desires for sustainable incomes and cultural integrity. Jean Howe and William Ingram who were our outstanding lecturers on the TAC trip that sailed to the Lesser Sundas some years ago, will again provide tour leadership.

The exact dates have not been fixed. Please keep this in mind for your travel planning in 2011.

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