Presented by Bruce P. Baganz, president, board of trustees, the George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum

Highly prized for their aesthetic beauty, 19th-century ikat textiles from Central Asia—such as the examples on view in Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats—are renowned for their bold designs and inventive color combinations. Ikat textiles derive their name from an ancient technique in which yarns are protected to resist dye penetration. The creative process is complex, requiring skilled designers, dyers, weavers, and other specialized craftsmen. 

The early years of the 19th century saw remarkable artistic developments in ikat production in the Central Asian oasis cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, and in towns of the Ferghana Valley. However, following a decline at the end of the 19th century, ikat weaving all but disappeared from the region. Now, more than 25 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, the complex art of making handmade ikat textiles is once again thriving in Uzbekistan’s Ferghana Valley.

Bruce Baganz talks about the work of the contemporary artists who are leading this modern revival and the inspiration drawn from historic influences.

• $5 MFAH members
• $10 Nonmembers
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Learning and Interpretation programs receive generous funding from the Sterling-Turner Foundation; Institute of Museum and Library Services; ExxonMobil; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Occidental Petroleum; Leslie and Brad Bucher; Houston Junior Woman's Club; Mr. and Mrs. Melbern G. Glasscock; The Windgate Charitable Foundation; the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; Mr. William J. Hill; and the Susan Vaughan Foundation.