Image: Ikat (detail 3), Central Asia, late 19th–early 20th century, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA
Congratulations to curator Clarissa Esguerra for receiving the Richard Martin Exhibition Award from the Costume Society of America for Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection, which we covered on the blog in 2018. The Awards recognize outstanding costume exhibitions presented by both small and large institutions. Award-winning exhibitions demonstrate excellence and innovation in the interpretation and presentation of costume, providing a transforming experience to both students of costume and the public. Up to two awards are given annually to exhibitions of differing sizes and funding.
Image: Ikat (detail 2), Central Asia, late 19th–early 20th century, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, gift of David and Elizabeth Reisbord, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA.
Power of Pattern ran until July 2019 at LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Central Asia’s textiles are rich with patterns influenced by the various cultures that travelled through or settled along the historic Silk Road. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the region experienced a renaissance in ikat, a technique where silk threads were bound and resist-dyed before weaving into cloth. The result were vivid textile patterns comprising blurred, cloud-like juxtapositions of colour, called abrbandi (literally “cloud binding”). To create these distinctive textiles, artisans experimented with prevalent motifs in daily life and nature and distilled these shapes into compositions where color and contrast were emphasized.
Power of Pattern showcased more than 60 examples of visually dynamic Central Asian ikat robes and panels, generous gifts from the David and Elizabeth Reisbord Collection. Organized by motif, the exhibition examined how the region’s textile designers, dyers, and weavers used improvisation and abstraction to create textiles truly unique to this region. You can get a sense of the exhibition via this video.
Revisit other past LACMA exhibitions at LACMA At Home.
More information about the Richard Martin Exhibition Award.