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Woman's Robe (munisak)
Central Asia, Uzbekistan, Bukhara, mid-19t
h c.
The Textile Museum 2005.36.106.
Murad Megalli Collection. Photo by Renée Comet.



Exhibition Catalog
Available now at the TM Shop


Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats
October 16, 2010 through March 13, 2011

In the streets of Central Asian oasis towns, a man’s clothing defined his status in society and proclaimed his wealth. In the home, the place of honor was filled with the richest ikat textiles. Many family ceremonies were celebrated in surroundings made beautiful with textiles. Ikats display Central Asian artists’ and weavers’ attention to the harmony between design, color and execution in order to create their master works.


Nineteenth-century Central Asian ikats are distinguished by bold, original designs using vibrant colors and are prized for their great beauty. These textiles derive their name from the technique used to create them, wherein bundled warps—and sometimes also the wefts—are bound and dyed several times before weaving, resulting in eye-catching designs in dazzling colors. Today the influence of ikat designs can be seen in contemporary fashion and home décor. This exhibition features a selection of the Central Asian ikats given to The Textile Museum by collector Murad Megalli, on view for the first time ever.

A beautifully illustrated catalog presenting all of the textiles from The Megalli Collection will be published in conjunction with Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. Offering a fresh and concise perspective on the rich ikat weaving tradition in 19th-century Central Asia, contributors include Feza Çakmut, Mary M. Dusenbury, Kate Fitz Gibbon, Andrew Hale and Susan Meller, Sumru Belger Krody and Sayera Makhkamova. Ikat is explored through a number of different lenses, including; the social importance of garments made from ikat fabric, the placement of ikat designs in the larger Central Asian context, the relationship between different ikat fabrics, the designs and construction of the garments, and the revitalization of the technique in Uzbekistan.

Catalogs are available now at www.textilemuseumshop.com and are available for purchase in the museum shop.






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