late in the evening on the 5th of December Marianne Erikson passed away after a short period of illness.
Marianne was a textile historian and Head of the textile collections at the Röhsska Museum in Gothenburg for twenty-five years. She was a curator, researcher, writer and lecturer of great importance and with a worldwide and active network.
I first met Marianne in the late 80’s when she was teaching textile history to us, a group of students at School of Craft and Design at University of Gothenburg. Since then our paths have met many times. We have lectured together, travelled with buses and trains in Poland, been to many openings at a number of museums, and argued about semantic quibbles or marginal historical details. Do I need to say that Marianne always was right?
Marianne has been of invaluable support to us working in the textile media. Nobody I’ve ever met has such a great experience and knowledge of historic as well as contemporary textiles. Didn’t matter what kind of question you had – Marianne always knew the answer and could mentor you to relevant references. I wonder how we will get along now?
Last summer Marianne spent a couple of days in my studio, working with the text for the Nordic Award in Textiles catalogue. Memorable days with important discussions and a notebook filled with comments.
She taught me about the golden man, a Syrian or Egyptian tapestry fragment from sometime between year 250 and 400.
And I introduced to her “Follow The Deer”, a research project where I will follow the deer character through tapestry history. I wanted to listen to Marianne’s reaction to the concept before I made it official. She was quiet for a long time. After a while she said: “That could work.”
A week later she sent me her book ‘Textiles In Egypt 200 – 1500 A.D’. On the cover page was Marianne’s handwriting:
“The golden man
and the dear deer
make a fascinating story.
At a higher seminar on the 20th of November, Department of Conservation, I launched the project. I trust Marianne.