Exhibition: A Tale of Two Persian Carpets (One by One) – The Ardabil and Coronation Carpets

Exhibition dates: 17 September 2017 – 8 July 2018

Dating to the first half of the sixteenth century, LACMA’s two spectacular Persian carpets, both the gift of J. Paul Getty, have only rarely been exhibited due in part to their size and sensitivity to light. Now, these large and sumptuous carpets will be shown sequentially, affording visitors the opportunity to see two of the world’s most renowned Persian carpets and to learn of their fascinating history before and after they left Iran. The Ardabil carpet will be on view from 17 September 2017 – 19 February 2018, and the Coronation carpet will be exhibited from 24 February – 8 July 2018.

The large number of carpets surviving from sixteenth-century Iran compared to earlier periods reflects not only a high level of carpet production but also perhaps a change in the nature of their manufacture. During this period, carpet weaving evolved from a rural, nomadic craft to a national industry and an internationally acclaimed art form, as the first shahs of the Safavid dynasty (1501–1732) established royal factories in cities such as Tabriz, Kashan, Kirman and Isfahan. The two great Persian carpets presented here belong to this period of cultural, political and religious flowering.

For more information, visit the website of LACMA, Los Angeles, USA.

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Event: A Show and Tell of Tribal and Village Weavings from Iran and Central Asia

Legge Carpets webpage

Event date: Monday 18 July 2016

Oxford Asian Textile Group have organised a show and tell evening in Oxford with Angela and Christopher Legge of tribal and village weavings from Iran and Central Asia. There are 15 places available for this event. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to oatg.events@gmail.com to confirm your place.

Location: Legge Carpets & Textiles, 25 Oakthorpe Road, Summertown, Oxford, OX2 7BD.
Time: Arrival from 7.15pm to start at 7.30pm.
Free for members, £3 for non-members.

For more information about Legge Carpets, please visit their website.

Exhibition: Muhammad Shah’s Royal Persian Tent

Cleveland Museum of Art - Muhammad Shah's Royal Persian Tent

Exhibition dates: 26 July 2015 – 26 June 2016

The Cleveland Museum of Art has acquired a spectacular imperial tent created for Muhammad Shah, who ruled Iran from 1834–1848 during the Qajar dynasty. The interior of the round tent is lavishly decorated with inlaid brilliantly coloured woollen cloth embellished with silk thread embroidery. The tent is the centerpiece of a special focus exhibition in the museum’s Arlene M. and Arthur S. Textile Gallery, which began this week.

The tent retains its complete ceiling; seven of the original fourteen wall panels form a semicircle so that visitors can see and be surrounded by the ornate interior. Each wall panel is decorated with a single large vase of exuberant blossoms set between robust birds on a rocky mound under a niche with blossoming vines. The roof panels display similar birds flanking the base of two blossoming branches. The exterior, in contrast, is typically covered with a plain cotton cloth.

At Islamic courts, tents were symbols of royal power and wealth – pitched for imperial ceremonies, travel and military campaigns and presented as luxurious gifts. Wealthy dynasties owned thousands of tents in various sizes and shapes. The exhibition will not only be the first time the tent has been publicly displayed, it will also include portraits of the owner and royal family and images of courtly life that will give visitors a sense of the rich context in which tents like this were commissioned and used.

For more information, visit the website of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio, USA.