Textiles Close Up: Islamic Textiles at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Art
April 25, 2014

Join TSA for a day-long exploration of the rich history of textiles from Islamic lands with renowned scholar Louise W. Mackie, Curator of Textiles & Islamic Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The day begins with a study of textiles on display in the Islamic Gallery and in the new exhibition, LUXURIANCE: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900. LUXURIANCE celebrates the museum’s world-class collection of Islamic textiles with highlights of sumptuous silks, indispensible symbols of status, wealth and power at imperial courts across the vast Islamic lands from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. These vibrant yet harmonious patterns promoted the fashions of ruling dynasties, cultures and periods.

In a special behind-the-scenes afternoon session we will examine Islamic textiles not on view, compare medieval Iranian silks and twentieth century renditions which are generally called “Buyid,” and watch a short video of drawloom weaving. This exclusive all-day program is a special preview of Ms. Mackie’s forthcoming 2014 book, Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th -20th Century, with 450 color illustrations, half from Cleveland’s spectacular collection.

Space is limited to a maximum of 18 participants. The program starts at 9:30am and ends at 4:30 pm. The day includes a group lunch. The museum is open until 9:00 on Friday evenings, allowing participants extended access to its world-famous collections.

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Three spaces are available to students and new professionals at a subsidized rate. One scholarship is available – application deadline March 28


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About the Expert Guide

Louise W. Mackie has served as the Curator of Textiles and Islamic Art at the Cleveland Museum of Art since 1998. In 2012, after extensive renovation and expansion, Louise opened the new Islamic Gallery, the Tapestry Gallery, a special exhibition of Renaissance Textiles, and in 2013 opened the museum’s first dedicated Textile Gallery. Previously, she was department head and curator of the textile and costume department at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada (1981–98), adjunct associate professor in the Fine Arts department, University of Toronto, and curator of Eastern Hemisphere Collections at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. (1971–80).

Louise is a founding director and past president of the Textile Society of America. She serves on the Conseil de Direction of the Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens (CIETA), based in Lyon, France (1985–87, 1991– current) and previously sat on the Advisory Committee of the Textile Museum, Washington, D.C. (1982–89).

About Textiles Close Up

Textiles Close Up is series of study-workshops launched in 2013 that provides opportunities to examine textiles in leading museum and private collections, guided by renowned experts. Workshops focus on the exploration of the materials, techniques, styles, culture and history of selected textile traditions, which vary for each event. The format offers first-hand, close-up viewing of textiles in the storerooms, laboratories and study rooms of various institutions offering unprecedented access and learning opportunities.