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June 11 - September 25, 2011
Opening Reception: June 10, 2011, 6-8PM
Artisans in South Asia use a broad range of handcraft techniques to meet the apparel and home furnishing needs of consumers in India, surrounding nations, and around the world. The Goldstein Museum of Design exhibition Beyond Peacocks & Paisleys: Handcrafted textiles of India and its neighbors (June 10 to September 25, 2011) examines how techniques evolved over time as the producers reached discovered new markets and faced competition from international handcraft and industrial producers. The handcraft techniques include ikat weaving, several varieties of embroidery, block printing, bandhani and lahariya varieties of tie-dye, and more.
The exhibition showcases saris, shawls, and home textiles collected over a 50 year period by Dr. Donald Clay Johnson, former curator of the Ames Library of South Asia at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Johnson began collecting during a year’s residence in India in 1966. He named his collection “Paritosh,” which means “contentment,” after his host family’s compound. He continues to expand the collection’s comprehensiveness in techniques and regional design on annual trips to South Asia.
The skilled artisans making these beautiful objects today are the inheritors of long-standing textile traditions, but they also adjust their methods and designs when advances in technology and changes in taste redefine quality. Chief among these changing contexts are political restructurings, globalization, fashion, the industrial and digital revolutions, and public concern with sustainability.