Presented by Lisa Balabanlilar, associate professor of history, Rice University

In June 2016, Professor Lisa Balabanlilar and a group of Rice alumni and faculty made a trek to Central Asia to explore the western Silk Road. For centuries, the oasis cities of Samarqand, Bukhara, Merv, and Khiva were the center of a global caravan trade and served as the glittering capital cities of a long series of merchant kingdoms and conquerors, from the Sogdian Persians to the Turco-Mongol Empires of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, to the Soviet Russians.

This lecture provides historical and cultural context for the exhibition Colors of the Oasis: Central Asian Ikats. Balabanlilar traces Central Asia’s fascinating history from the Middle Ages through the flourishing 19th century, and details the complex challenges the region faces today.

• $5 MFAH Members
• $10 Nonmembers
Secure your seat in advance! Get tickets below, or stop by any MFAH admissions desk.

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.