Textiles and the Triplett Sisters

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Chintz, Glorious Chintz!

I come from a theatre background, so it isn’t unusual for lines from plays or songs from musicals to pop in my head. Especially because sometimes the song catches the mood and moment more adequately than I can.  Such was the case when Kay and I went to visit the Chintz Exhibition at Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. A moment when the breath is taken away…then the song begins.

In the musical Oliver, the boys have been starving and craving something other than gruel. Thus begins the songs of dreams of food or in this case dreams of chintz.  If you know the tune to Food, Glorious, Food…sing along!

Chintz, glorious chintz,
Red colors and mustard!
While we're in the mood --
Step too close you’ll get busted!
Hats, coverlets, and tunics
What next is the question?
Rich gentlemen have it, boys --
in all colors!

Chintz, Glorious Chintz,
We're anxious to buy it
Three materials a day
Our favorite diet
Just picture a great big bolt
Blue, purple, or flowered
Oh Chintz! Wonderful chintz!
Marvelous chintz! Glorious chintz!

The museum has such a fabulous collection because of the wealth of the community during the dominance of the Dutch East India Company.  They had material to spare and didn’t need to wear their clothes out. They had expensive chintz made into doll clothes, baby clothes, banyans and sun bonnets. There are truly no words to explain this amazing exhibition… Oh Chintz! Wonderful chintz! Marvelous chintz! Glorious chintz!