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Saturday, April 1, 2017

10 a.m. Refreshments     10:30 a.m.  Program

Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands,
7th - 21st


Louise W. Mackie
Curator (Retired) of Textiles and Islamic Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH

Luxury textiles were symbols of power, wealth and status in Islamic lands from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, where they set standards of beauty and drove economies, fueling prosperity and urbanization. They were essential embellishments in lavish ceremonial pageantry, dressing up rulers and their courts, palaces, and tents, as well as royal pathways, predecessors of red-carpet receptions. The textile industry flourished under the auspices of sultans, its foremost patrons, and textile designers and weavers excelled at creating vibrant, harmonious patterns that corresponded with prevailing fashions among the ruling dynasties of various cultures and periods. Textile-literate consumers demanded well-made, durable fabrics with lustrous silk thread in rich colors, and the production of these textiles was supported by many technical innovations.  Louise Mackie’s talk will include descriptions of primary motifs and patterns, as well as explanations of various techniques used in their fabrication, illustrated through spectacular examples and featuring a rich variety of aesthetic styles that were vital symbols throughout the greater Middle East.

From 1998 until her retirement in 2016, Louise W. Mackie was responsible for the Cleveland Museum’s internationally renowned worldwide textile collection as well as its collection of art from Islamic lands.  Over that period, she organized and curated numerous exhibitions in the museum’s galleries, including Luxuriance: Silks from Islamic Lands, 1250-1900; Floral Delight: Textiles from Islamic Lands; Muhammad Shah’s Royal Persian Tent; and Opulent Fashion in the Church as well as Jeweled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals, and Fabric of Enchantment: Indonesian Batik from the North Coast of Java from the Inger McCabe Elliott Collection.  Mackie also served as the department head and curator of the textile and costume department at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada (1981–98), and she was the Curator of the Eastern Hemisphere Collections (1971–80) at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC.  In addition to giving numerous scholarly and public lectures on Islamic textiles and carpets, Mackie has also written catalogues, chapters, and articles and contributed to large research projects.  She served as the textile scholar for IPEK: Imperial Ottoman Silks and Velvets (2001), an extensive collaborative international research project on Ottoman Turkish silks of the 15th to 17th centuries, spearheaded by Prof. Dr. Nurhan Atasoy along with Dr. Hulya Tezcan and Prof. Walter B. Denny.  She has written a survey of Islamic textiles, Symbols of Power: Luxury Textiles from Islamic Lands, 7th–21st Century, published by the Cleveland Museum of Art in December 2015.  (https://www.amazon.com/Symbols-Power-Textiles-7th-21st-Cleveland/dp/0300206097/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1488920354&sr=8-1&keywords=symbols+of+power%3A+luxury+textiles+mackie)

Ms. Mackie invites TMA/SC members to bring examples of luxury textiles, including costumes and carpets, from Islamic countries for show & tell.

Luther Hall,  Lower Level     St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
3590 Grand View Blvd.  Los Angeles, CA  90066-1904

Just south of the 10 freeway, and west of the 405, near the intersection of Centinela and Palms.  Free parking.

Admission:    TMA/SC Members  Gratis . . . . .  Guests  $10


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