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Stories in Material Matters

Woven Silk

Nazanin Hedayat Munroe, Artist and Art Historian

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012


Silk textiles were produced in Byzantium long before local weavers had figured out how to acquire and produce silk from silkworms. For centuries, the Chinese held a monopoly on the raw materials required to create these highly desired textiles.

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Islamic Metalwork

Betsy Williams, Jane and Morgan Whitney Fellow, Department of Islamic Art

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ewer with dancing females within arcades

Silver and gold vessels and architectural elements count among the most dazzling artifacts produced in late antiquity. While Christian, Jewish, and Muslim texts consistently denounce the accumulation of precious metals as reflecting a repellent concern with the trappings of worldly wealth, these traditions also associate gold and silver with heavenly adornment.

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About this Blog

This blog accompanied the exhibition Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, on view March 14–July 8, 2012.