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Montana Museum of Art & Culture


Judith with the Head of Holofernes,
Flemish Gothic Tapestry,
ca. 1525, 124 x 104 inches,
Donated by Josephine Bay



Tapestry holdings include the Brussels Tapestry:  "Le Joueur de Cornemuse" (The Bagpipe Player), a Flemish Gothic Tapestry:  "Judith with the Head of Holofernes", and a Flemish Renaissance Tapestry:  "Wars of the Romono"- all donated by Josephine Bay. Additionally, within the Permanent Collection is the Rya Tapestry by Rudy Autio, which is on display at the UM PARTV Center on campus.

          Le Joueur de Cornemuse (The Bagpipe Player), Brussels Tapestry after David Teniers II, ca. 1700-1750, 116 x 104 inches, Donated by Josephine Bay.

The Bagpipe Player Tapestry was created after a design by David Teniers II. Teniers designs were shared among many weavers. This tapestry belongs to a class of Teniers tapestries referred to as "fin Teniers" because of the high quality of the design, modeled closely to the original paintings, and the superior execution characterized by a large range of colors. Teniers tapestries were extremely popular in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, with workshops producing large numbers of weavings. 

          Judith with the Head of Holofernes, Flemish Gothic Tapestry, ca. 1525, 124 x 104 inches, Donated by Josephine Bay.

This tapestry depicts an important biblical event, when Nebuchadnezzer, King of Nineveh, sends his general Holofernes to subdue the Jews.  Holofernes besieges the Jews in Bethulia, a city on the southern Plain of Esdrelon. The Jews defend the city, but are subdued by famine and  contemplate surrender.  A widow, Judith (whose name means "Lady Jew" or "Jewish woman"), chastises the population for lacking faith and declares that she will deliver the city. Judith travels into the camp of the Assyrians and captivates Holofernes with her beauty, using seduction and the general's intoxication to cut off his head. She returns to the city with his head as a trophy.  This act galvanizes the Jewish morale and results in the expulsion of the Assyrians.

          Wars of the Romano, Flemish Renaissance Tapestry, n.d., 124 x 180 inches, Donated by Josephine Bay

Rudy Autio's Rya Tapestry

Rudy Autio's Rya Tapestry was designed for the landing of the Montana Theater stairwell in the UM Performing Arts, Radio and Television (PAR-TV) Building.  Dedicated February 6, 1986, after four years of preparation, the design was completed by Professor Emeritus Rudy Autio and woven by Anneli Hartikainen with the assistance of Pirkko Sillfors of the Friends of Finnish Handicraft, Helsinki, Finland. The project was directed by Sister Kathryn Martin, Dean, assisted by Bryan Spellman, Administrative Officer for the School of Fine Arts and Eeva Pinomaa, Director of the Friends of Finnish Handicraft. Funding for the project was made possible by Champion International and Finnair.

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