Louise Mackie (2017)

Louise Mackie

Louise Mackie’s leadership as a founding director and past President of TSA (1996-1998), along with her curatorial work in the subject of Islamic textiles has contributed enormously to the textile field. Her research directives, field work, curatorial focus on the details of textile making and meaning from a broad perspective has brought new insight, documentation and understanding of the intricacies, beauty and power of textiles from the Islamic world. She has lead large collaborative projects, engaged in international initiatives, extensive research fieldwork, as well as creatively and with aesthetic sensitivity developed exhibitions that have had a lasting impact. Her kind nature has enabled an open dialogue with students, scholars, and members of the public, and her aim has always been to foster learning and knowledge sharing.


Mackie recently retired as head of the Islamic Art Department and curator of the Department of Textiles and Costume, Cleveland Museum of Art. Previously, she was the department head and curator of the Textile and Costume Department at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada (1981-98). She was Curator of the Eastern Hemisphere Collections Textile Museum in Washington, DC (1971-80) where she trained in textiles and carpets under Irene Emery and Charles Grant Ellis.

Louise continues to serve on the Conseil de Direction of the Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens (CIETA), based in Lyon, France (1985-87, 1991-), and previously sat on the Advisory Committee of the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. (1982-89). She holds a BA in art history from Wells College and an MA in Islamic art from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Additional studies included coursework for a PhD at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and coursework in Islamic art at the American University in Cairo.

Mackie’s most recent publication is Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th-21st Century (Cleveland Museum of Art, 2015). Mackie has also written numerous catalogues, chapters, and articles and contributed to large research projects. She was the video producer and project director of interdisciplinary fieldwork for Threads of Time: Handmade Textiles for Weddings in Fez, Morocco, a video documentary (1996) partially funded by the Barakat Foundation, which also led to conference papers and published articles. She served as the textile scholar for IPEK: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets (2001), an extensive collaborative international research project on Ottoman Turkish silks of the 15th to 17th centuries, spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy along with Dr. Hulya Tezcan and Prof. Walter B. Denny, and generously funded by the Turk Ekonomi Bankasi, Istanbul, Turkey.



1973  The splendor of Turkish weaving. Textile Museum.

1976  “A turkish carpet with spots and stripes.” Textile Museum journal 4.3: 5-20.

1976  with Ann P. Rowe. “Masterpieces in the Textile Museum.”

1977  “Two remarkable fifteenth century carpets from Spain.” Textile Museum Journal 4.4: 15-32.

1980  Thompson, Jon, and Louise W. Mackie, eds. Turkmen: tribal carpets and traditions. Textile Museum.

1983  “Woven status: Mamluk silks and carpets.” The Muslim World 73.3-4: 253-261.

1984  “Toward an Understanding of Mamluk Silks: National and International Considerations.” Muqarnas: 127-146.

1985  “Covered with flowers: medieval floor coverings excavated at Fustat in 1980.” Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies I. London: 23-35.

1987 “May Hamilton Beattie.” Oriental Carpet and Textile Studies 3: 6-11.

1988  Lotus Stack, and Frieda Sorber. “Traditional Textiles In Cultural Contexts International Research And Video Documentation.” UNLdigital commons. Textile Society of America.

1992  Trimmings in Fez. LIFE, DAILY. “TEXTILES.” Proceedings of the Third Biennial Symposium of the Textile Society of America. Unldigital commons.

“Pattern books for drawloom weaving in Fès, Morocco.” Bulletin du CIETA 70 (1992): 169-176.

“Embroidery In The Everyday Life Of Artisans, Merchants, And Consumers In Fez, Morocco, In The 1980s.”  UNL digital commons. Textile Society of America.

1996  “THREADS OF TIME Handmade Textiles for Weddings in Fez, Morocco.” UNL digital commons. Textile Society of America

2001 with N Atasoy, WB Denny, Ş Atlıhan, H Tezcan İpek, the Crescent & the Rose: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets. Azimuth Editions

“Italian Silks for the Ottoman Sultans.” Electronic Journal of Oriental Studies 4.31: 1-21.

2002  “Jeweled Islamic Textiles – Imperial Symbols”,  unldigitalcommons.unl.edu/ Textile Society of America.

2003  “The Origins and Influences of Silk Damasks in the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul During the 16th Century.” Bulletin du CIETA 80.

2004 “Ottoman kaftans with an Italian identity.” Ottoman Costumes, from Textile to Identity, S. Faroqhi & CK Neumann (eds.,), Istanbul: 219-229.

2015 Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th-21st Century. Cleveland Museum of Art.