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Fabulous textiles on show in Cleveland

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a well-justified reputation as a leading US centre for the collection and study of textiles, with a series of formidable curators, imaginative directors and generous donors enabling the development of a fine collection.

Some of these splendid textiles, together with the museum’s Pre-Columbian, Native North American, Japanese and Korean collections, returned to public view after an eight-year hiatus with the opening on 30 June 2013 of the new North Wing Galleries, including The Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Gallery, the museum’s first dedicated space for textile exhibitions.

The CMA collections contain some 4,500 textiles from 62 countries made between 2000 BC and 2010 AD. Particular areas of strength include one of the finest groups of Islamic textiles, and of early lace in the world, as well as a strong focus in early Italian silks, and one of the largest collections of contemporary fibre art in the United States. Highlights from the Andes also include important textiles, while the Native North American collection focuses on baskets, most made around 1900, and Southwestern art, principally ceramics and textiles from both ancient and modern periods. Holdings also include several fine Saltillo serapes, as well as a Chilkat ‘blanket’ from the Pacific Northwest.

The inaugural special exhibition in the Holden Gallery, ‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, serves as a preview to a forthcoming book, Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th – 20th Century by Louise W. Mackie, current curator of textiles and Islamic art. 

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art's newly opened North Wing galleries with an Indian silk lampas woven canopy, ca. 1500

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s newly opened Arlene M. and Arthur S. Holden Gallery, the museum’s first dedicated space for textile exhibitions, with an Indian silk lampas woven canopy, ca. 1500

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art's newly opened North Wing galleries

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s newly opened North Wing galleries

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art's newly opened North Wing galleries

‘Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900’, in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s newly opened North Wing galleries

 

Embroidered silk hanging with a tree of life design, Turkey, 1850–1900. Silk, plain weave, embroidery; 228.60 x 172.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1358

Embroidered silk hanging with a tree of life design, Turkey, 1850–1900. Silk, plain weave, embroidery; 228.60 x 172.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Wade 1916.1358

Brocaded velvet kaftan fragment with falconer and attendant, Iran, mid 1500s. Silk, gilt-metal thread; brocaded velvet, pile-warp substitution; 79.40 x 66.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum o f Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.239

Brocaded velvet kaftan fragment with falconer and attendant, Iran, mid 1500s. Silk, gilt-metal thread; brocaded velvet, pile-warp substitution; 79.40 x 66.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum o f Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1944.239

Alhambra Palace silk curtain, Grenada, Spain, Nasrid period, mid-1300s. Silk; lampas weave; 438.15 x 271.78 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund 1982.16

Alhambra Palace silk curtain, Grenada, Spain, Nasrid period, mid-1300s. Silk; lampas weave; 438.15 x 271.78 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund 1982.16

Cloth of gold depicting winged lions and griffins, Central Asia, circa 1240–60, Ilkhanid (Mongol) period. Silk, gold thread; lampas weave; 124.00 x 48.80 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1989.50

Cloth of gold depicting winged lions and griffins, Central Asia, circa 1240–60, Ilkhanid (Mongol) period. Silk, gold thread; lampas weave; 124.00 x 48.80 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1989.50

'Golden lions and palmettes' silk tapestry fragment, Central Asia, 1200s or earlier. Ilkhanid (Mongol) period. Silk, gold thread; tapestry weave; 63.50 x 34.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1991.3

‘Golden lions and palmettes’ silk tapestry fragment, Central Asia, 1200s or earlier. Ilkhanid (Mongol) period. Silk, gold thread; tapestry weave; 63.50 x 34.70 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1991.3

Floral silk on a golden ground, Iran, about 1650. Silk, silver-metal thread; samit; 50.10 x 27.50 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 2003.96

Floral silk on a golden ground, Iran, about 1650. Silk, silver-metal thread; samit; 50.10 x 27.50 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 2003.96

Silk ikat wall hanging, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1800–1850. Silk warp, cotton weft; warp ikat, warp-faced plain weave; 208.90 x 141.60 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Guido Goldman 2006.150

Silk ikat wall hanging, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1800–1850. Silk warp, cotton weft; warp ikat, warp-faced plain weave; 208.90 x 141.60 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Guido Goldman 2006.150

Silk velvet ikat woman’s robe, munisak, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1850–75. Silk; ikat-velvet; 127.00 x 150.00 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Arlene C. Cooper 2009.267

Silk velvet ikat woman’s robe, munisak, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 1850–75. Silk; ikat-velvet; 127.00 x 150.00 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of Arlene C. Cooper 2009.267

Velvet cover, Turkey, Istanbul or Bursa, Turkey, early 1600s. Silk, gilt and silver metal thread, cotton; brocaded velvet; 180.98 x 127.00 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 2008.146

Velvet cover, Turkey, Istanbul or Bursa, Turkey, early 1600s. Silk, gilt and silver metal thread, cotton; brocaded velvet; 180.98 x 127.00 cm. The Cleveland Museum of Art, John L. Severance Fund 2008.146

 

Bag with human face, Wari, Peru, 600–1000. Alpaca or llama hide, human hair, pigment, cotton, coca leaf contents; height. 26.0 cm (bag), length: 64.7 cm (strap). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund 2011.35

Bag with human face, Wari, Peru, 600–1000. Alpaca or llama hide, human hair, pigment, cotton, coca leaf contents; height. 26.0 cm (bag), length: 64.7 cm (strap). The Cleveland Museum of Art, Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund 2011.35

Chilkat blanket, Tlingit, Northwest Coast, America, 19th century. Weft twining: cedar bark wrapped with mountain goat hair, overall - h:137.80 w:175.30 cm (h:54 1/4 w:69 inches). Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1981.69. Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art Photo Credit: David Brichford

Chilkat blanket, Tlingit, Northwest Coast, America, 19th century. Weft twining: cedar bark wrapped with mountain goat hair, overall – h:137.80 w:175.30 cm (h:54 1/4 w:69 inches). Gift of Mrs. A. Dean Perry 1981.69. Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art Photo Credit: David Brichford

 

 

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