In a statement from the award committee, composed of Lee Talbot, Claire Odland, and Ruth Barnes, they explain their choice: ‘This year’s award winner is an example of the rich dialogue and original insights that can occur when textile scholars collaborate across cultures and disciplines. With contributions from seven authors, Chinese Silks is part of The Culture and Civilization of China series published in both English and Chinese by the Yale University Press and China International Publishing Group. Painstakingly researched and copiously illustrated, the book represents the collective first attempt by preeminent Chinese and Western scholars to write a comprehensive history of Chinese silks. The authors connect recently discovered textile artifacts with period literary references to outline the technical and aesthetic evolution of silk manufacture as well as the social forces that shaped the production and consumption of silk. Including vast amounts of original scholarship available in English for the first time, Chinese Silks offers the most thorough account of the history of silk published to date’.
R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award was established in 2000 through a donation from R.L. Shep.