Textile Arts - Antonio Ratti Textile Center
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art possesses one of the finest collections of textiles in the world. Encyclopedic in scope, it includes examples from all of the world's civilizations and from almost every period in history. Among the 35,000 pieces (a number which does not reflect the holdings of The Costume Institute) are archaeological fragments, tapestries, carpets, quilts, ecclesiastical vestments, silks, embroideries, laces, velvets, and more, dating from 3000 B.C. to the present. Highlights include late Antique domestic textiles made in Egypt by Christians and pagans alike during the fourth to seventh centuries; silk tapestries and embroideries of the Yuan dynasty, a peak of refinement and complexity in Chinese textiles; a five-medallion "compartment carpet" crafted in Persia during the Safavid period in the early sixteenth century; and the opulent and rare seventeenth-century French embroidered wall panels in the Museum's Louis XIV bedchamber. Previously dispersed among the various curatorial departments according to the cultures that produced them, most of the Museum's textile holdings are now gathered in the Antonio Ratti Textile Center—one of the largest, most technically advanced facilities for the study, storage, and conservation of textiles in any art museum. While each curatorial department retains intellectual responsibility for its own textiles, the custom-designed center provides the controlled environmental conditions necessary for the long-term preservation of these fragile works of art, as well as study and research facilities for Museum staff and the general public, and a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory.
Venue: Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET)
1000 5th Ave
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