Italiano (Italian)

*Featured photo: Woman’s shirt or tunic, Swat Valley, Pakistan, late 19th-early 20th century, Karun Thakar Collection, London

At the Textile Museum at George Washington University in Washington, DC, opening January 2022 Through June 6, 2022

Vibrant textiles have long been synonymous with Indian culture. Their distinctive abstract, floral and figurative patterns have inspired countless variations. Featuring masterworks from The Textile Museum Collection and the private collection of Karun Thakar, this major exhibition and accompanying publication showcase court weavings, folk embroideries and other fabrics from the eighth through the early 20th centuries.

Shrine cloth, Uttar Pradesh, early 20th century, Karun Thakar Collection, London

About the Exhibition

The Indian subcontinent is home to some of the world’s most ancient and illustrious textile traditions. Over the centuries, Indian textile artists have developed an enduring design vocabulary – from simply woven stripes to floral motifs to complex narrative scenes. Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design presents a stunning array of fabrics patterned with India’s most distinctive designs: abstract, floral and figurative.

Some the region’s oldest known textiles feature abstract patterns such as circles, stripes and zigzags. Examples in the exhibition range from a fragment of a block-printed cloth traded to Egypt around the 15th century to intricately embroidered dresses made in present-day Pakistan’s Swat Valley in the 1800s and 1900s.

Floral patterns in Indian textiles became increasingly widespread in the 13th century, and artists excelled in adapting them for global markets. Embroidered caps from Bengal, for example, were fashionable “at home” wear in 18th-century Europe; a man would often don one in the evening after removing his wig.

Figurative patterns provide a window into different religious beliefs across South Asia. A 15th-century narrative cloth from Gujarat depicts deities and other figures central to the Jain religion. A shrine cloth from Uttar Pradesh honors Sayyid Salar Mas’ud, a Muslim warrior-saint venerated by Muslims and Hindus alike.

Indian Textiles is accompanied by a gallery guide and a catalog.

Hanging, southeast India 17th-18th century Karun Thakar Collection London

About the Catalog

The limited-edition catalog Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design is available for purchase ($80)

Exhibition Programs

Join us for a series of virtual and in-person programs that explore themes from the exhibition. Browse upcoming programs

Ceremonial cloth, coastal southeast India, late 18th or 19th century, Karun Thakar Collection, London

Project Sponsors

Lead support for this project is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd., Alastair and Kathy Dunn, Roger and Claire Pratt, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support is provided by Bruce P. and Olive W. Baganz, the Cotsen Textile Traces Study Collection Endowment, Tina M. deVries, Helen K. King, Norma and Ted Lonoff, The Markarian Foundation, Edwina M. Nelon, Mary Jo Otsea and Richard H. Brown, David M. Sloan and an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by Corinne M. Berezuk, Sylvia Bergstrom, Joe Rothstein and Marin Hagen, Cynthia R. Boyer, Sheridan and Richard Collins, K. Burke Dillon, Grace and David Pratt, Jay M. Schippers and Soane Britain


Maria Rosaria Roseo

English version Dopo una laurea in giurisprudenza e un’esperienza come coautrice di testi giuridici, ho scelto di dedicarmi all’attività di famiglia, che mi ha permesso di conciliare gli impegni lavorativi con quelli familiari di mamma. Nel 2013, per caso, ho conosciuto il quilting frequentando un corso. La passione per l’arte, soprattutto l’arte contemporanea, mi ha avvicinato sempre di più al settore dell’arte tessile che negli anni è diventata una vera e propria passione. Oggi dedico con entusiasmo parte del mio tempo al progetto di Emanuela D’Amico: ArteMorbida, grazie al quale, posso unire il piacere della scrittura al desiderio di contribuire, insieme a preziose collaborazioni, alla diffusione della conoscenza delle arti tessili e di raccontarne passato e presente attraverso gli occhi di alcuni dei più noti artisti tessili del panorama italiano e internazionale.