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To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia

Ikat from the "To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia" exhibit at the he Freer|Sackler

I was able to run into the Washington DC one rainy afternoon and find a parking space close to the Freer|Sackler. Unheard of!

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery — together, the Freer|Sackler, are the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art. These galleries are under-appreciated among the more well-known giants such as the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum etc. But it was my destination for this visit because they had a wonderful exhibit featuring ikats from Central Asia.

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia is a feast for the eyes. Within the exhibit there is documentation about Uzbekistan and the Fergana Valley creating the world’s most beautiful silk ikats. I will have to agree!

As a weaver in my previous art life, I can tell you it is pure magic to see these Warp and Weft Ikat in silk. I would have enjoyed seeing a loom set up — a missed opportunity by the curators in my opinion. In the gallery below (click to see larger versions) I’m sharing some of the photos I took, both of the textiles as well as garments, with meaning both couture and cultural.

To Dye For: Ikats from Central Asia is on exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art until July 29, 2018, and there are some wonderful entertainment and educational events planned in conjunction with it. If you are local, or visiting the Washington DC area for a summer trip, please take some time to visit.

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