Gale Owen-Crocker and Robin Netherton Lectures

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Four Lectures on Historical Clothing
From Medieval Hoods to Elizabethan Farthingales

Presented by
Gale Owen-Crocker and Robin Netherton
on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at Crucible Nightclub!

Please join us for a day of education and fun! Lecture topics and registration details are now available below.


Lecture Topics:


MORNING: Gale R. Owen-Crocker

Anglo-Saxon Dress and Textiles
The lecture begins by considering how we come to know anything about dress and textiles in the Anglo-Saxon period (England, c. 450–1066), considering in turn the written evidence, the archaeological evidence, and the evidence of art, and explaining the special value and limitations of each. It continues with a rapid chronological survey of what we know, highlighting what seem to be particularly favorite features throughout the Anglo-Saxon era.

Headgear with a History
Headgear was an immediate identifier of gender, role, and status throughout the Middle Ages (and indeed into modern times). This lecture takes a close look at four surviving items, respectively from thirteenth-century Spain, fourteenth-century Sweden, very early medieval Scotland (third to seventh century), and fourteenth-century England. The first two are closely contextualized; the latter two have no associations, and the objects have to tell their own stories—but what a lot they can tell us!


AFTERNOON: Robin Netherton

The Fifteenth-Century V-Neck Gown
The so-called “Burgundian” style that dominates much of fifteenth-century fashion in Western Europe is in fact two separate styles, which have distinctive characteristics and are apparently constructed in two completely different ways. An examination of artwork over the course of the century demonstrates the differences and provides clues as to how the two styles developed and the ways in which they may have been made.

Inventing the Wheel: The Strange History of the Wheel Farthingale
The “wheel” farthingale, popular in English art from the 1590s through at least the 1620s, has long been described as one of the strangest inventions of Western fashion, with its wide skirt standing out from the wearer’s hips like a dinner plate. For the past two centuries, authors have proposed a variety of ways of achieving this silhouette, based on various arrangements of boned or wired understructures. A close look at the evidence from the period, however, shows clearly that the secret behind the wheel shape was something quite different from what is typically assumed by historians and costumers alike.



Tickets may be purchased HERE through Brown Paper Tickets.

  • Adults: $30
  • High school and college students with current valid ID: $20
  • Lunch: $7 Please preregister to guarantee availability!
  • Registration deadline: May 1, 2019
  • Admission tickets will be available at the door, but lunch tickets may be limited. Cash only at the door! Please preregister if you want lunch.


Program Schedule:

  • 8:30 AM        Registration
  • 9:00 AM        Welcome and Introductions
  • 9:15 AM        Gale Owen-Crocker Lectures
  • 11:45 AM*    Lunch Break
  • 12:30 PM*    Robin Netherton Lectures
  • 3:00 PM        Open question Period (Time Permitting) 
  • 3:30 PM        Program concludes
  • ~5:00 PM      Dinner out at local eatery


*Start and end times for the lunch break are approximate, depending on the morning lectures. Any alterations to this schedule will be announced at the end of the morning lectures.


Event Details:

  • Please no videotaping or voice recording during the presentations.
  • Still photos of the presenters are allowed, but please no photographs of the slides.
  • Please be prompt! All activities will start and end on time!
  • Printable flyer for the event is here


Food and Beverages:

  • Chips and beverages are available for purchase at the bar all day.
  • A group lunch will be available for purchase with your ticket. Some lunch tickets may be available at the door, but please preregister to ensure we have a lunch for you.
    • The lunch will cost $7 and will include a croissant sandwich (beef, chicken, or ham), veggies, cookies, and a non-alcoholic beverage from the bar (soda, tea, or coffee). If you require a vegetarian sandwich, please make a comment on the ticket order. Chips and beverages will be available at the bar.
  • Delivery may also be ordered in independently by individuals with objections to the group order option(s).
  • Attendees may bring in their own food. There are no facilities for heating or cooling personal food. Please order beverages and chips from the bar.
  • A dinner out after the lectures will be organized, details are forthcoming.



Crucible Nightclub

  • 3116 Commercial Ave, Madison, WI 53714
  • Fully handicapped accessible site and restrooms
  • Free on-site parking with free overflow parking across the street
  • Full service bar, including non-alcoholic options like coffee and Tazo tea for purchase
  • Minors allowed with their parent or legal guardian, though this event is not intended for small children



A hotel block has been set up at the Best Western East Towne Suites

  • 4801 Annamark Dr., Madison, WI 53704, (608) 244-2020
  • Group name: Anglo-Saxon
  • 20 rooms – 10 doubles $95+tax, 10 queens $85+tax
  • Can cancel up to three days in advance
  • Block closes April 1, 2019
  • Includes free breakfast, free wi-fi, pool and hot tub
  • An informational sheet about the hotel and block is here

Please contact Jean if you would prefer crash space.



Bios, Contacts, and Additional Information:

Facebook Event:

Gale Owen-Crocker, PhD, FSA, is Professor Emerita of The University of Manchester, UK, where, before her retirement, she was Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture and Director of the Manchester Centre for Anglo-Saxon Studies. She co-founded and co-edits with Robin Netherton the journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles. She was Director of the five-year Lexis of Cloth and Clothing Project, which produced a searchable database of medieval dress/textile terms in all languages of the British Isles, available to the public at She was chief editor of An Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c.450-1450 (2012) and is overseeing three online continuations of it. Her books include Dress in Anglo-Saxon England: Revised and Enlarged Edition (2004) and The Bayeux Tapestry: Collected Papers (2012). With Elizabeth Coatsworth, she has produced bibliographies on medieval dress, textiles, and textiles in art history for Oxford Bibliographies, a peer-reviewed online reference resource; An Annotated Bibliography of Medieval Textiles of the British Isles, c. 450-1100 (2007); and Clothing the Past: Surviving Garments from Early Medieval to Early Modern Western Europe (2018).

Robin Netherton is a professional editor and researcher specializing in Western European dress of the Middle Ages. Since 1982, she has given lectures and workshops on medieval clothing for academic audiences, historical societies, re-enactment groups, and other organizations. An experienced costumer, she addresses both the practical aspects of medieval clothing construction and the significance of costume in history, art, and literature. Her lectures emphasize approaches for researching medieval costume and ways to avoid common myths and mistakes. She is co-founder and co-editor (with Gale Owen-Crocker) of the academic journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles. As founders of the study group DISTAFF, she and Dr. Owen-Crocker organize tracks of sessions on medieval dress and textiles each year at the major international congresses on medieval studies in the United States and England. Ms. Netherton’s own research focuses on the development of the clothing construction in the twelfth through fifteenth centuries, and also on the depiction and interpretation of clothing by artists and historians. Her published papers have addressed such topics as the cut of gowns in medieval Greenland, and the “tippet” sleeve decoration.

Medieval Clothing and Textiles – a series edited by Robin Netherton and Gale Owen-Crocker that highlights current research into medieval textiles and associated topics.

Event Coordinator: Jean Kveberg – email: jskveberg at gmail, Phone: between the hours of 10AM and 7PM, please: 608-628-7782



Other Local Things To Do:

  • Bonus lecture! Professor Owen-Crocker is presenting “The Significance of the Bayeux Tapestry” on the UW-Madison campus on Friday, May 3, 2019 at 3PM. The lecture will be held in the Conrad A. Elvehjem Building, Room L150. This is a free lecture open to the public and is sponsored by the Medieval Studies Program and the Department of Art History.
  • Gallery Night – Friday, May 3, 2019 is Madison’s Gallery Night, showcasing local artists. Crucible will be a venue, but there are many additional venues spread out across the city.
  • Chazen Museum of Art – Some medieval and Renaissance objects and they will be showing an interesting exhibit on early Photography (Un/Seen: The Alchemy of Fixing Shadows).
  • SCA Barony of Jararvellir May Day Moot – Saturday, May 4, 2019 – DeForest, WI (Near Madison). Details forthcoming – this will overlap with the lectures, but may be a good option for folks who are carpooling but not interested in costuming. Archery and Fighter Practice – Sunday, May 5, 2019 – Archery, Rapier, and Armored Combat at the UW Stock Pavilion noonish-3ish – 1675 Linden Dr, Madison, WI 53706
  • Olbrich Botanical Gardens – beautiful indoor and outdoor gardens, often with interesting installations.
  • State Street – fun and quirky shopping on an outdoor pedestrian mall.
  • Farmer’s Market – Saturday morning only 6:15am-1:45pm – produce, bread, tasty treats of every sort! A great place to hit up before the lectures if you are an early bird!
  • Cirque du Soleil – Crystal – Show on ice playing May 1-5, 2019 in Madison
  • Madison Craft Beer Week – April 26-May 5, 2019 – many local microbreweries will be participating.
  • Dark Arts and Crafts – Sunday, May 5 – 1PM-6PM – Crucible – Haven’t had enough fiber goodness? join us for open crafting and gaming time!