Suzani, 19th century; Cotton, silk; Bequest of Miss Lily Place
Saturday, April 28, 2007Sunday, October 14, 2007
Galleries 255 and 256
The merchants of Central Asia have long been famous for the luxury goods they transported on the famous Silk Road. Less well known are the stunning textiles they created for their own use, from interiors fabrics and apparel to dowry treasures and items defining social and cultural identity.
This exhibition celebrates the complexity and diversity of Central Asia’s rich aesthetic textile heritage, from the complex silk ikats and elaborate suzani embroidery of urban areas to tent bands and felts created in the nomadic tradition. From Afghanistan to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to Turkmenistan, the works of individual artists have helped to maintain cultural traditions for millennia. The interdependence of highly skilled urban artists of the Central Asian Khanates often reflect influences from the many foreign interactions that took place on the Silk Road.
This installation does not include the art of the rug maker, who justifiably receives considerable exposure, but instead highlights the art of the dyer and embroider.