Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800

Beginning in the 16th century, the golden age of European maritime navigation in search of spice routes to the East brought about the flowering of an abundant textile trade. Textiles often acted as direct currency for spices, as well as other luxury goods. Textiles and textile designs made their way around the globe, from India and Asia to Europe, between India and Asia and Southeast Asia from Europe to the east, and eventually west to the American colonies. Blending the traditional designs, skills, and tastes of all the cultures that produced or purchased them, these beautiful and historically fascinating fabrics also served as conduits of information, sparking ideas of imagined exotic lands and peoples in both East and West. The exhibition will include works from across the Museum’s collection—augmented by a few key domestic and international loans—in order to make worldwide visual connections, and to highlight an important design story that has never been told from a truly global perspective.
The exhibition is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., The Favrot Fund, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, and the Quinque Foundation.
Accompanied by a catalogue.

Exhibition Opening

Event Details:


  • When: 

    Monday, September 16, 2013

  • Where: 

    Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Tisch Galleries
    1000 Fifth Avenue
    New York, NY

  • More information: 

    Event website.

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