Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love Kansas City. I love that we’re missing most of the traffic and congestion of bigger cities, and we still get amazing access to a variety of good (yarn) shopping, restaurants, and culture.

And you can’t talk about cultural places in Kansas City without talking about the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s an amazing (mostly free) art museum right off the Plaza district. If you’ve seen the giant shuttlecock statues in association with anything KC, that’s the Nelson.

I love to go to the Nelson any time, but specifically I recently went to see one of their new featured exhibits: Weaving Splendor: Treasures of Asian Textiles. Let me tell you, my hype for this excursion was huge and the exhibit truly lived up to it.

Woven Persian tent

It featured a variety of woven and embroidered textiles from Japan, China, India, Persia, all over Asia, and of course, all of them were stunning. The tiniest threads creating the most elaborate scenes on hangings, clothing, and furniture. They even had this tent!

Qing dynasty robe

This Qing dynasty robe was probably may favorite piece. They displayed a lot of pieces like this at a 45 degree angle to lessen the effects of gravity, and I thought that was genius. It’s beautiful and elaborate, a formal garment intended for someone of importance, but look closer.

Close up of Qing dynasty robe

Unfinished selvedges!! I feel so validated. If the masters of the Qing dynasty aren’t wasting their time finishing raw edges, neither will I!

Technique breakdown of Brocade

They also had these great breakdowns of the different techniques used in the piece! And a good thing, too, because at the end of the exhibit…

They have hands-on fiber arts you can work on!! Never mind that I was in a bit of a time crunch. I was not passing up on the opportunity to have my handiwork in the Nelson!

Small bit of bright weaving

Here’s my little bit of weaving.

embroidered flower

And my little lazy daisy/French knot flower. See if you can spot them when you visit the exhibit (which you definitely should!).

Display of all three featured exhibits

The featured exhibit ticket was $18, and it included Castles, Cottages, and Crime, which boasts a collection of adorable ceramic houses and castles, and Origins: Collecting to Create the Nelson-Atkins, which has some great Kansas City history featured in it (as well as a gorgeous, hand-dyed, Churro, Diné-woven rug, which you should check out while you’re there!).

These pictures do not do the whole exhibit justice, as there is so much more to see! It’s open through March 6, so please go! And hopefully we can continue getting great fiber arts exhibits in our museums!

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