From Library Journal
Ikats are patterned textiles produced by tying and resist-dying the warp and/or weft threads before weaving, a technique known in many parts of the world. Moved by their bright colors and complex designs, Guido Goldman, a former professor of European studies at Harvard, began collecting 19th-century central Asian ikats. The Goldman collection is considered the largest and most comprehensive collection of wall hangings and robes produced during Asia's finest period of silk production. Fitz Gibbon and Hale, specialists in the silk-weaving tradition of central Asia and nomadic textiles, have produced a book on the collection that served as catalog to a recent traveling exhibition. The authors detail the silk trade in central Asia, weavers' workshops and guilds, the making of ikats, and design sources and influences. Their discussion of the role of textiles as wall hangings in domestic life and as men's robes and women's dresses give life to the complex weaving tradition. The items are beautifully photographed, with many close-up opportunities for textile study, and reproductions of historical photographs enhance the text. A nice addition to cultural and textile collections. Beyond the Silk Road was published in conjunction with an August 1999-June 2000 exhibition at the Powderhouse Museum's Asian Gallery (Sydney, Australia), which houses Australia's largest collection of textiles and clothing as well as Asian decorative arts and design. Following an overview of central Asian history, the text describes the material culture of the inhabitants, who are either nomads or oasis dwellers, with a focus on textiles. Included are brief details of textile production, various cultural influences on artisans, and costume. Examples of woven and embroidered textiles, including rugs, clothing, horse covers, camel headdresses, and designs for silk ikats, are all showcased. The book is nicely done, but the focus is narrow. Recommended for special collections only.DJudith Yankielun Lind, Roseland Free P.L., NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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