Batiks in European & American Museums

I have yet to seek out detail information on batiks collected by Museum Textile Indonesia at Tanah Abang. Traffic jam absolutely discourages me. Forgive my eternal indolence, except for eating roasted duck in LIYEN at Asemka and pecel ndeso at Manahan. Terms and conditions apply for laziness ho...ho...ho...

If you consider yourself as a batik aficionado, call your travel agent, get your tickets, then go to museums listed below to make your summer holiday hotter.

Several European museums have batiks collected before 1860. These include:

  1. The Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna (1 example, collected in 1859).
  2. Koninklijke Museum voor Kunst en Geschiedenis, Brussels (4, c. 1840).
  3. Ethnography Department of the Nationalmuseet, Copenhagen (1, before 1843).
  4. Museum of Mankind, London (1 surviving, c. 1816).

(drawn from “Indonesian Textiles in European Collections,” in Indonesian Textiles, Symposium 1985, eds. Gisela Volger & Karin von Welek, vol. 14 of Ethnologica [Cologne: Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum, 1991], 199-231).

Batiks in American collections predating 1900 include those at:

  1. The American Museum of Natural History, New York City (1, 1879).
  2. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts (2, 1839 & 1882).
  3. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (3 North Coast: 2, 1893; 1, 1895).

The MFA represents a typical museum collecting pattern with 41 North Coast batiks and 228 Central Javanese batiks (statistics drawn from “An Introductory Survey of Indonesian Textiles in American Museums,” in Indonesian Textiles, 1979 Rountable on Museum Textile, ed., Mattiebelle Gittinger [Washington D.C: Textile Museum, 1980], 337-440).


Gluckman, D.C. (2000). Introduction. In Fabric of enchantment: Batik from the north coast of Java. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art).

No comments: