Dramatic Threads: Textiles of Asia

14 March 2018–1 February 2019

Exhibition Overview


Featuring theatrical and political costumes as well as architectural and decorative textiles from diverse areas of Asia—Dramatic Threads: Textiles of Asia will showcase works that display a wide range of techniques. Different embroidery stitches may be read like a signature to unveil where they were made. Woven textiles reflect diverse making methods ranging from virtuoso brocades and slit-tapestry to twill and plain weaves. The materials used—gold, silk, wool, cotton—all unlock regional access to resources weighing local production compared to luxury imports. Cultural preferences for specific color palates and subject matter intertwine with these resources and underscore distinct regional histories. This installation supports the Museum’s ongoing conservation efforts that require the rotation of fragile objects to protect them for future generations. Works featured in Dramatic Threads: Textiles of Asia can be found throughout the Asian galleries—China, Japan, Korea, Nepal and Tibet—and are identified by a unique text label.

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