Tufts University Art Galleries presents Connecting Threads / Survivor Objects

Armenian, Saghavard (Liturgical Crown), 1751. Steel, sequins, gold metallic thread on velvet. Present of Paul and Vicki Bedoukian, courtesy of the assortment of the Armenian Museum of America

MEDFORD, Mass.—Connecting Threads / Survivor Objects explores the kaleidoscopic environment of Armenian liturgical textiles from the collections of the Armenian Museum of America and the Museum of Wonderful Arts, Boston. Embroidered, block printed and painted, these objects relationship to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries exhibit the multidimensional nature of liturgical textiles and bear witness to the vitality of Armenian communities for the duration of the Ottoman Empire and their influence alongside international industrial routes. While quite a few Ottoman Armenian church buildings are now in ruins soon after successive waves of persecution from the 1890s to the 1920s, these fragile and attractive textiles bear witness to the survival of a people today, their identity and faith. 

Sought right after and admired for their aesthetic qualities, ecclesiastical textiles played a central position in the celebration of the divine liturgy. These amazing performs in linen, silk and velvet shell out homage to the long-standing Armenian tradition of weaving and needlework. Their wealthy imagery is a complex reflection of Armenian artwork and of Byzantine, put up-Byzantine, European and Islamic sewing and portray traditions. 

Beneath the Ottoman Empire, Armenian communities occupied a wide geographical space ranging from the Caucasus to the Anatolian peninsula, from Crimea to Russia and Western Europe, and from Amsterdam to East and South Asia. Just one of the to start with Christian civilizations, Armenia was a vital fulcrum for worldwide trade routes and the circulation of visual concepts in the early modern-day time period. 

The textiles in this exhibition originated in the affluent Armenian communities of Istanbul, Tokat, Talas, Kütahya and Gümüșhane—all in present day day Turkey—as nicely as in Armenian investing settlements in Surabaya, Indonesia. Their inscriptions present priceless info about craftsmen, patrons, and church foundations. These details offer you a glimpse into the world in which the textiles were created and convey a sense of the connected and dynamic culture of the Armenian communities in advance of the Hamidian Massacres of the 1890s and the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1922. 

It is significant to accept the record surrounding these objects and advertise new tutorial analysis, especially in the present local weather, when violence in the Nagorno-Karabakh area threatens a lot of Armenian cultural heritage internet sites. The moment once more, tangible and intangible Armenian patrimony is at threat of currently being missing without end. 

The exhibition has been formulated with undergraduate and graduate learners from the seminar The Threads of Survival: Armenian Liturgical Textiles in Area Collections at Tufts College in spring 2021: Jeffrey Bui, Elettra Conoly, Claudia Haines, Andrea Horn, Sara McAleer, Atineh Movsesian, Grace Rotermund, Shirley Wang, Cas Weld, and Sofia Zamboli. 

Lots of of these textiles acquired the scholarly awareness they are worthy of for the first time as pupils engaged in shut examination of every single individual textile at the Armenian Museum of The us along with in-course discussions about the objects and appropriate literature. The exhibition labels and educational substance existing the end result of their substantial investigate.

Arranged by Christina Maranci, Arthur H. Dadian and Ara Oztemel Professor of Armenian Art and Architecture, Tufts University, and Chiara Pidatella, Tufts College Art Galleries exploration curator.

Connecting Threads/Survivor Objects will be open up from August 30 to December 5, 2021 at the Aidekman Arts Centre/Koppelman Gallery.

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