Exhibition: Kum Kapi Carpets at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon

Gulbenkian - Kum Kapi

Exhibition dates: open until 19 September 2016

Kum Kapi carpets owe their name to a district of Istanbul where, in the nineteenth century, various Armenian master carpet makers settled to create their rich knotted carpets of silk, with metal threads, inspired by the classic Persian carpets of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Hagop Kapoudjian (c. 1870–1946) was one of the most famous Kum Kapi master carpet makers, and created three of the carpets included in this exhibition, taking place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, which are placed in dialogue with works by the contemporary artist, also of Armenian origin, Mekhitar Garabedian (b. 1977, Aleppo). Two artists from different times and places who share a common past that, in a way, is connected to the life story of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian himself.

The exhibition establishes a dialogue between tradition and contemporaneity, continuity and reinvention, showing in surprising ways the relationship between the carpet and the journey that is, here, more than ever, linked to the Armenian diaspora.

There is also a free lecture taking place at the Gulbenkian Museum in connection with this exhibition, on Wednesday, 29 June, on Armenians and rug weaving.

For more information, visit the website of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon, Portugal.