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San Francisco Asian Art Museum Supporters Visit Macan Tidur

by Susi, 20 July 2008

Jade Circle member viewing textiles with Susi Johnston at Gallery Macan Tidur, Ubud.

The “Jade Circle” of the San Francisco Asian Art Museum visited Macan Tidur last week during a cultural tour of Bali. Accompanied by chief curator, Forrest McGill, they arrived dressed in Balinese adat clothing, looking elegant. It wasn’t “fancy dress day” for the Jade Circle, they were dressed to attend the royal cremation ceremony taking place in Ubud later that day.

During the morning, I delivered a lecture on diversity in Balinese textile traditions, which was followed by a lively discussion and some hands-on study of textiles. I had put up an entire wall of traditional Balinese textiles from my collection, which looked a bit like a souk, but certainly illustrated the tremendous diversity of Balinese textiles. From prada to ider-ider with talismanic drawings, the variety of weavings draped on the gallery hanging bars was dizzying.

Diana Kortlyn Chace in her birthday hat, an antique wedding crown from Sumatra.

I was delighted to see old friends and clients from San Francisco in the group, including Merrill Randol (below left), who is a connoisseur of ethnic textiles, and Diana Kortlyn Chace who livens up any gathering, as she did this one. It just so happened to be her birthday and she chose a Sumatran wedding crown from the gallery as her birthday hat. Diana is known for her sophisticated taste in fashion, and she looks great in everything, even a crown bursting with metal appendages (above).

Merrill Randol (left), Colette Ghysels (far right) and members of the SFAAM Jade Circle.

We were very honoured to also have with us the eminent collector and scholar of ethnic jewellery, Colette Ghysels (above far right). Her collections have filled volumes, and she is an old friend of my partner, Bruno Piazza, who has photographed many pieces from her collections for publication.

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