Archive publications

Colour exhibition catalogues

Exhibition Notes

Recent and forthcoming articles


Palestinian costume reading list

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Early Ramallah costume, as published in Leila el Khalidi's The Art of Palestinian Embroidery.  Leila's book features many beautiful family photographs never before published.

Colour exhibition catalogue

Catalogues for the travelling exhibition Portraits without names: Palestinian costume are available through the Archive.  The hard to acquire, nearly out of print catalogue was first published in 1995, and is available for $20 US including postage. It contains text similar to that found on this web page, and is illustrated in colour through out. In particular, it illustrates many of the beautiful costumes on loan to the Archive from the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait.  The catalogue was reviewed by London's Costume journal as "delightful" in 1995!

* The Archive is looking for sponsorship to help update and revise the catalogue before the forthcoming American and Canadian tour of the exhibition.  Please drop us a line if you'd like to help us with this.

Exhibition notes

Due to popular demand the Archive has had the wall texts of the Portraits without names: Palestinian costume and Secret Splendours: women's costume in the Arab world travelling exhibitions, together with further Archive research and illustrations, maps and graphics from the two exhibitions, collated and bound for public purchase.

The Secret Splendours Exhibition Notes include information on traditional costume from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt (including Siwa Oasis and the Sinai Desert), Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen.  The Notes also include detailed information on hijab Islamic modesty dress as well as the Middle Eastern concept of covering and veiling. These sections are accompanied by a small reading list and a map showing areas of the world (including outside the Middle East) where covering and veiling are part of traditional costume.

The Exhibition Notes for Portraits without names supplement the 1995 catalogue, especially in the area of post 1948 Palestinian costume and embroidery, where the Archive has undertaken much recent research. They include detailed information on Palestinian weddings as well as information on each of the regional areas displayed in the exhibition (including Galilee, Nablus, Hebron, Ramallah, Jaffa, Beit Dajan, Bethlehem, Jericho, Gaza and southern Negev bedouin costume styles). However, the most important new sections of the Notes deal with Palestinian costume and embroidery after 1948, examining each decade in detail, as well as documenting the expression of nationalism in traditional Palestinian costume and the Intifada "flag" costumes and textiles, the establishment of Palestinian refugee camp embroidery projects and the development of Palestinian embroidery as a separate craft and art form to costume, and Palestinian cultural heritage in the communities of the international diaspora.

Recent and forthcoming articles

This research on post 1948 Palestinian cultural heritage will be the foundation of the Archive's monograph Symbolic defiance: Palestinian costume and embroidery since 1948 which is forthcoming with Brill in the Netherlands.  A second book, on Palestinian embroidery, is now underway for Interlink in the US.  Please email the Archive if you would like to be advised when these are available for sale.

Recent articles featuring Archive research will appear shortly in new Khilat journal, and the Proceedings of the 8th Symposium of the Textile Society of America, both due out in early-mid 2003.  An article on the Archive also features in the latest Textile Society of America Newsletter (vol 15 no 1 Winter 2003) and Multicultural Victoria (Vol 9, no.4 Autumn 2002).



With the kind assistance of the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Nuconcept Printing, Melbourne, the Archive recently published a series of postcards, which are available for purchase either individually or as a set of eight.

The postcards feature the very popular main promotional images used by the Archive for the Portraits without names: Palestinian costume and Secret Splendours: women's costume in the Arab world exhibitions, together with close up images of costumes and textiles in both exhibitions. These include close ups of exquisite 19th century Galilee coats, contemporary Intifada "flag" dress embroideries, details of decorations from a Yemeni wedding dress, a close up section of a Sinai Desert bedouin face veil, and a section of an embroidered dress from the Saraqab region in Syria Four of these postcards are illustrated below.

As with our other publications and refugee camp products, the Archive is happy to ship postcards worldwide. Please contact the Archive for further information regarding prices and shipping costs.

The Archive again thanks the photographers and authors of publications who allowed their images and research to be reprinted in these informal Exhibition Notes.

Mother and child, Hebron c.1930s- Archive postcard

Detail of embroidery from an Intifada dress made by ANAT Workshop, Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Syria 1991 (on loan to the Archive from Heike Weber, ANAT Workshop, Syria) - Archive postcard


Sinai Desert bedouin girl dressed up in her mother's wedding clothes, Katri'in village, 1997 (Photo: Jeni Allenby) - Archive postcard

Detail of decoration from the front of a Yemeni indigo dyed wedding dress balaka qamis (on loan to the Archive from Sally Brokensha, Adelaide for the exhibition "Secret Splendours: women's costume in the Arab world) - Archive postcard


Palestinian costume reading list

For those interested in collecting books on Palestinian costume and embroidery we highly recommend the following:

Leila El Khalidi The Art of Palestinian Embroidery 1999 London: Saqi Books

Jehan Rajab Palestinian Costume 1989 London: Kegan Paul International

Shelagh Weir and Serene Shahid Palestinian Embroidery 1988 London: British Museum

Shelagh Weir Palestinian Costume 1989 London: British Museum

Volger, Gisela (et al) 1987 Pracht und Geheimnis: Kleidung und Schuck aus Palastina und Jordanien (also published in French as Memoire de Soie: Costumes et Parures de Palestine et la Jordanie) Rautenstraush-Joest-Museum, Koln - a comprehensive catalogue of Widad Kawar's private collection

Most of these are in print and can be obtained either from the Archive, or direct from their publishers. Please contact us for further details. Shelagh Weir’s Palestinian Costume , the result of 30 years dedicated research - is probably the best reference on the subject, while Leila el Khalidi's The Art of Palestinian Embroidery has an excellent bibliography on both European and Arabic language sources.  Jehan's book is also beautifully written and illustrated, and features the collection of the Tareq Rajab Museum in Kuwait.

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