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Note to textile geeks: I recently came across this little sidebar in the New York Times about a show in New York right now called “The Master of the Blue Jeans“. (The show runs at Didier Aaron until February 18th.)

Originally organized by Gerlinde Gruber, a curator at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, for Galerie Canesso in Paris, the exhibition includes seven late-17th-century Italian paintings that show poor people dressed in denim fabric, which was made then in Genoa and known by the French name for that city, Gênes. The paintings, which had once been attributed to artists like Velázquez and de la Tour, are now thought to be the work of a single, unknown artist.

As the Times so aptly puts it, “there really is nothing new under the sun”! I knew denim had a long and complicated history (think of the beautiful quilts made from old jeans earlier in the 20th century) but didn’t realize how long!