Over the Sea, Under the Sky: Contemporary Danish Tapestry

In the second half of the 19th century, during the style period of national romanticism, two professional tapestry workshops were set up, one in Copenhagen and the other in the North of Zealand. They were inspired partly by the Manufacture des Gobelins in Paris and partly by the British tapestry workshops of the Arts and Crafts Movement. The tapestry workshops were established in order to decorate the newly erected Town Hall of Copenhagen and the Frederiksborg Castle with woven tapestries. A number of young women, the majority of whom were sisters and daughters of well-known painters, were sent abroad to learn tapestry weaving, thereby creating a new female job opportunity. The designers of the cartoons for weaving were mainly painters who did not weave. These two tapestry workshops closed at the beginning of the 20th century after having fulfilled their mission. Read the accompanying essay Over the Sea, Under the Sky to learn more about the history and the work included in the exhibition.

Curator’s Biography

Born in Copenhagen in 1971, Ulrikka Mokdad is a tapestry weaver and art historian. She learned tapestry weaving as a child and later served four and a half years of apprenticeship in a weaver’s workshop. Since 1997, she has exhibited her tapestries nationally and internationally. Her work has been exhibited in numerous international shows, including American Tapestry Biennials 7, 8, 9, and 10 and ARTAPESTRY 3 (touring Europe 2012-14). She received her MA in art history from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in March 2014. She lives, weaves, and works in Copenhagen.

Ulrikka’s main interests as an art historian are historical textiles, such as Coptic fragments, medieval Flemish tapestries, and Dutch table carpets. She also takes a great interest in contemporary textile art, especially in woven tapestry. Since 2003, she has been a board member of the Danish Textile Guild and was involved in arranging the miniature textile exhibitions miniTEX 11 and miniTEX 14 in 2011 and 2014.