Shared Beauty: Eastern Rugs & Western Beaded Purses

May 31, 2008-April 5, 2009

Shared Beauty: Eastern Rugs and Western Beaded Purses; Paul Textile Arts Gallery

Though beaded purses were fashionable through the 19th and early 20th centuries, they became extremely popular in the 1920s as an integral part of flapper-era costumes, complementing the period’s beaded evening dresses. A variety of patterns were depicted on these bags, including flowers and landscapes. Some of the most fashionable designs however, were copied from the patterns of Persian, Turkish, Caucasian, Turkmen and Indian carpets and textiles. In this exhibition, beaded bags were displayed alongside rugs with similar patterns. This juxtaposition explored motifs common to rugs and provided a closer look at "Orientalism,” examining the influences of Eastern art on Western art and fashion.
The beaded purses on view were from the Stella and Fredrick Krieger Collection, while the rugs were drawn from IMA's permanent collection augmented by a few loans from private local collections.

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