The Frist Art Museum presents rarely seen textiles from the renowned Asian art collection

The Frist Art Museum presents Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, an exhibition of Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Persian, and Turkish textiles drawn from one of the United States’ foremost collections of Asian art united . Organized by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, the exhibition will be on view at the Frist from October 7 to December 31, 2022.

Made with precious materials, innovative techniques and stunning artistry, Asian textiles have been integral to world trade for centuries. Whether woven from cotton, linen, silk or wool, each textile in Weaving Splendor tells a complex and fascinating story that takes visitors on a journey along trade routes across continents and through time, from the 15th century to the current affairs

“This exhibition offers a rare opportunity for our public, as these extraordinary treasures are not often displayed due to their fragile and light-sensitive nature,” says Frist Art Museum Senior Curator Trinita Kennedy. “Our guests will not only gain a deeper understanding of the various historic textiles on view, but will also learn about how Asian traditions are practiced and kept alive today, including by artists from our own community through demonstrations at the gallery”.

With more than 65 objects organized thematically in five sections, Weaving Splendor explores the various purposes for which Asian textiles have been created, including for use as clothing, furniture, gifts and commercial goods. Formal court costumes made in imperial China and Japan signified rank and status within the government hierarchy, while striking costumes from Japanese theatrical traditions and Chinese operas brought characters from illusory worlds to life in the stage Textured velvets and exquisite furniture coverings defined and transformed the interior spaces. In a recreation of a royal Persian tent from the 16th century, guests are enveloped in magnificent silk velvet adorned with flowers and scenes of a royal hunt.

A section devoted to the major role Asian textiles played in diplomatic exchange and global trade includes Indian pashmina shawls and chintzes and Persian rugs, including one commissioned as a gift from a shah to a pope around 1600. woven rugs in the Islamic world were highly prized. in Renaissance Europe. This spectacular example remains in excellent condition, suggesting that it may have been displayed on a wall or table rather than walked on,” explains Kennedy .

The exhibition concludes with modern and contemporary textiles from China, Japan, India, Pakistan and Turkey. In some areas, traditions have been revived by non-governmental agencies and dedicated patrons and artists, while art forms such as carpet weaving have continued in other regions without interruption. In the 21st century, Asia has regained its position as the largest textile producer in the world.

In addition to experiential learning activities in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, Weaving Splendor is complemented by an education gallery with illustrated reference books, a place for guests to reflect and respond, and an area where contemporary artists they will talk about fiber and show their processes. A schedule of live demonstrations will be updated at and will also be available on the gallery’s touch screen.


Curators’ Perspectives: Textile Treasures of Asia in the Splendor of the Weave

Thursday, October 6



Free; first come, first seated

Presented by Ling-en Lu, Curator of Chinese Art; Kimberly Masteller, Jean McCray Beals Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art; and Yayoi Shinoda, Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The world has always turned to Asia for luxury textiles. In this special presentation on textiles and fine clothing at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, you’ll have a chance to see why. Join Nelson-Atkins curators Ling-en Lu, Kimberly Masteller and Yayoi Shinoda for a close examination of some of the sumptuous textile treasures from across Asia featured in Weaving Splendor.

You will be presented with works ranging from intimate objects worn on the body to objects that define and enliven interior spaces, through dynamic costumes that support narratives in performances, to objects loaded with symbols that communicate power and wealth Each of these works reveals a fascinating story, including a golden robe made for a Chinese prince in the Qing Dynasty, a silk carpet created by the ruler of Persia as a gift to the Pope in Rome, and monumental Japanese tapestries produced for consumption western towards the turn of the 20th century.

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