ibolya hegyi  the web of time
summary of the dissertation
".the classic art forms, to which we have already bidden farewell a countless number of times, live on despite all our expectations, actually drawing new strength from this and securing for themselves new liberty."

Hans Belting: The End of Art History. Atlantisz, Budapest, 2002, p. 18-19

As a tapestry artist I wanted to understand why the evaluation of this "royal" genre is so problematic. What are the causes of the frequent instability of classification, changing of function and position during the history of the genre, which had long lasting influences. The question of the classification of the genre is debated nowadays thanks to the new critical theories in critics of modernism, canon and critical museum-studies. The art historical classification in the 19th century contributed to downgrading of the tapestry, because tapestry was not classified as mural genre but as a subcategory of applied arts on the basis of textile technique being used, which had come to regarded lower compared to canvas in the newly established hierarchy of genres. So tapestry was sent to museums of applied arts. However, even before the foundation of museums, the genre of tapestry could not fulfill the criteria of modernity because it was not able to separate itself from the ancient techniques of handicrafts.

The aim of my dissertation is to enlighten the historical background of the negative evaluation of the genre; i.e. to enlighten the causes of it's falling to victim and its connection to modernity. I wanted to put into historical context the changing of the function, position and language of the genre and to distinguish the way of autonomous tapestry art from the traditional way of tapestry art that needs a weaver. Another goal of my dissertation is to summarize and interpret the process resulted in the metamorphosis of tapestry. This process began in the middle of the 19-th century with the Arts and Crafts Movement and reached its heyday around the new Millennium. The introduced process serves as a background to my activity, as I was and still I am active agent of the newly reborn autonomous tapestry art.