New York City, NY
This installation, which explores the cultural importance of silk in China, showcases the most important and unusual textiles from the Museum's collection. In addition to three rare pieces dating from the Tang dynasty (618–906), when China served as a cultural hub linking Korea and Japan to Central and West Asia, and ultimately to the Mediterranean world, the exhibition also includes eleventh- and twelfth-century tapestries from Central Asia, as well as contemporaneous Chinese examples of this technique.
Spectacular embroideries—including an imperial fourteenth-century canopy decorated with phoenixes and flowers, and a monumental late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century panel showing phoenixes in a garden—are also on view, together with theatrical garments, court costumes, and early examples of badges worn at court to designate rank.
Credit: Exhibition Overview from the Met Museum website
Whether you go or not, although there is not exhibition catalog for the Met exhibit, Chinese Textiles is an exquisite volume that draws on historical and modern pieces from the world-renowned collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum. It tells the overlapping stories of their making and the material culture in which they were produced, exploring the different techniques, influences, and meanings behind these colorful works of art. The author tells the story of each piece, introducing a wealth of characters from China's history and legends. The superb photography showcases the splendor of these intricate and glorious textiles to full effect.