Tags for: Cycles of Life: The Four Seasons Tapestries
  • Special Exhibition

Cycles of Life: The Four Seasons Tapestries

Saturday, February 12, 2022–Sunday, February 19, 2023
Location:  234 Textile Gallery
Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Gallery

About The Exhibition

Cycles of Life: The Four Seasons Tapestries offers visitors an in-depth look at a rare, complete set of tapestries in the museum’s collection that has not been displayed since 1953 because of the tapestries’ fragile condition. Each tapestry depicts seasonal activities: fishing and gardening (Spring), grain harvesting (Summer), wine making (Autumn), and ice skating (Winter). When viewed together, the tapestries represent a full cycle of life. Taking the “four seasons” motif as inspiration, this exhibition tells the story of the life of the tapestries through four themes—their initial design and production, subsequent reproduction and alteration, later acquisition by the museum, and recent conservation treatment by tapestry conservation specialists in Belgium, at Royal Manufacturers De Wit, under the supervision of the CMA’s textile conservator. The exhibition also offers an in-depth look at the difficult craft of tapestry conservation, including its ethics, techniques, and concerns.

The video below, created for the exhibition, explores how the Four Seasons tapestries were cleaned and restored at Royal Manufacturers De Wit., a tapestry conservation studio in Belgium. 

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Art historical research for this exhibition was a collaboration with Case Western Reserve University graduate students in the museum's joint art history graduate program.

Generous support is provided by the Thompson Family Foundation.

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Generous annual support is provided by an anonymous supporter, Dick Blum* and Harriet Warm, Dr. Ben H. and Julia Brouhard, Mr. and Mrs. Walter R. Chapman Jr., the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Leigh and Andy Fabens, Michael Frank in memory of Patricia Snyder, the Sam J. Frankino Foundation, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, Anne H. Weil, and the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The conservation of the Four Seasons tapestries was made possible with support from Emma Lincoln.*