New Exhibition Features Hand-Painted Military Textiles

By  //  September 2, 2012

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Runs Through December

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BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – The Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts presents its new exhibition, Battle Worn: Masculine Ideals and Military Identity in Modern Japanese Textiles from Sept. 8 to Dec. 15, in its galleries located on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology.

Detail, Presentation Flag with Black, White, and Gray Tiger. Hand-painted on cotton. Early 20th Century. (Image courtesy Dominic Agostini)

Battle Worn will feature more than 50 military textiles, hand-painted on cotton and silk, from the private collection of Dr. Michael Bortner.

These objects reflect the development of a national military identity rooted in cultural tradition.

Duty and familial honor played an essential role in shaping the perception of Japanese soldiers in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

During military conflict, loved ones often dedicated unique textiles that accompanied men into battle. These symbolically charged items provided courage and protection as the soldier journeyed to war and often memorialized his triumphant return in victory or death.

Highlights of the exhibit will include army and navy celebration banners, good luck flags,” “one-thousand” stitch belts, uniforms and children’s toys.

Regular hours for the Funk Center are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Center is located on the Florida Tech campus in Melbourne at 150 W. University Boulevard and admission is free.

For more information, visit, or call 321-674-8313.