Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles
For the first time in decades, rarely seen Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian, and Turkish clothing and textiles from the collection of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are assembled for an extraordinary exhibition. Made with fine materials, exemplary techniques, and superb artistry, Asian luxury textiles were prized domestically and were central to global trade.
The exhibition traces the journeys of key works of art and the people who owned them and carried them across the world. Luxurious costumes of the court performed power, while striking theater robes brought stage characters to life. Sturdy wall hangings and furniture covers transformed palaces, temples, and homes, while shimmering tapestry-woven carpets were created as diplomatic gifts for foreign rulers. Artists borrowed techniques from near and far to appeal to the latest fashions in the developing global market. The extraordinary stories of these treasures of the collection take visitors on a journey across continents, from the 1500s to today.
The adjoining Creativity Studio offers an interactive space to experiment with and learn more about some of the textile techniques highlighted in Weaving Splendor.
Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Generous support provided by Paul DeBruce and Linda Woodsmall-DeBruce, Sara and Bill Morgan, the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts – Commerce Bank, Trustee, and the Rubin-Ladd Foundation.
Media Partner: The Independent
One Hundred Cranes Imperial Robe (detail), Chinese, Late 17th-early 18th century Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Embroidered damask, 57 7/8 x 91 inches. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 35-275.
Guide to Library Resources Image:
Katabira (Summer Robe) (detail), Japanese, Edo period (1603-1867), late 1700s to early 1800s. Bast fiber (asa), dyed with indigo, embroidered with silk and gold, 62 × 48 1/4 inches. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 31-142/17.
Slider Image Captions
Carpet (detail), Persian, Early 17th century, Safavid Dynasty (1501–1722). Silk, cotton, and metal foil, brocading and pile, 72 × 167 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 33-460.
Lady’s Coat (detail), Chinese, 18th century, Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Kesi tapestry weaves, 40 1/2 × 63 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 37-25 A.
Tapestry-Woven Medallion Carpet, early 17th century, Persian, Kashan, Iran, Safavid Dynasty (1501-1722). Silk and silver metallic wrapped thread, 7 feet 11 1/2 inches x 5 feet 1 1/2 in. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 32-70. Photo © 2021 The Nelson Gallery Foundation: Gabe Hopkins
Hanging in the Form of a Prayer Carpet with Mille Fleur Design, Indian, ca. 1800, Kashmir, India. Wool, double interlocked tapestry twill, Overall; 62 1/2 × 42 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 35-299. Photo © 2017 The Nelson Gallery Foundation: Matt Pearson and Joshua Ferdinand
Hanging with Hōō and Pine Tree, Japan, late 1800s–1920s. Cotton tabby embroidered with silk and gold-wrapped threads, overall: 84 3/8 x 57 1/2 in. Bequest of Ella C. Loose, 45-70/53.
Nō Robe (Nuihaku-type, detail), Japan, 1700s. Silk embroidered with silk thread and stenciled with gold foil, 58 1/2 × 55 1/4 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 32-142/2.
One Hundred Cranes Imperial Robe, Chinese, Late 17th-early 18th century Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). Embroidered damask, 91 × 57 7/8 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 35-275.
Chair Cover with Crane Design, Chinese, 17th century Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Silk tapestry (kesi) woven with silk and metallic threads, Overall: 20 3/8 x 63 3/4 in. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Earl Morse, 59-18/5.
Velvet Fragment of Hunting Scene, Persian, 16th century, Safavid Dynasty (1501–1722). Cut voided velvet, satin weave foundation, silk and foil wrapped silk, 19 x 18 1/2 in. Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, 32-80/3. Photo © 2021 The Nelson Gallery Foundation: Gabe Hopkins