Washington, May 14 (PTI) Coinciding with the 75th anniversary celebrations of India's independence, the prestigious Textile Museum in the American capital is hosting a rare exhibition narrating the astonishing array of traditional Indian fabrics.
Through some 100 pieces, the exhibition titled "Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design" reflects on the influence of Indian textiles on global design. Over the last few days, it has been attracting a stream of visitors from in and around the city, to The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum in Washington, DC.
"A journey through the threads of Indian history and tradition in America!" India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said in a tweet after his visit to the exhibition this week. The masterpieces spanning from the early 9th century to the 20th century provide glimpses of the textile marvels across India, he said.
"Happy #FabricFriday! Today's artwork is an 18th-century handkerchief featured in our exhibition 'Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design'. The intricate embroidered design depicts the ten different incarnations of the Hindu god Vishnu," the museum said in a tweet on Friday.
The exhibition is on view till June 4. Indian textile artists have developed a globally influential and enduring design vocabulary. Spanning time, region, technique and levels of patronage, the fabrics in the exhibition are arranged in three thematic sections that correspond to the predominate ornamental elements traditionally used by Indian textile makers, the university said in a statement.
"This exhibition illustrates how generations of cultivators, weavers, dyers, printers and embroiderers have ingeniously harnessed the region's natural resources to create a remarkable range of fine fabrics, while Indian artisans excelled in adapting designs for changing consumer tastes and markets," said Lee Talbot, curator, The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum.
"India dominated the global textile trade for centuries, exporting top-quality, affordable fabrics to England, Indonesia, Japan and other markets across Europe and Asia," he added.
In a statement, the university said Indian textiles unite masterworks from two internationally-renowned collections, including garments made for the elite clientele from the Textile Museum collection and domestic fabrics created by women from the London-based private collection of Karun Thakar.
"Dramatically installed across two floors, the exhibition offers visitors a fresh perspective on Indian textiles by highlighting the technical and aesthetic virtuosity of their creators, including block print, ikat and embroidery, as well as the social, cultural, economic and political contexts that informed their design choices," it said.
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