ALERTPlease note: the museum will be closed on Sunday, Feb 2 for a private event. The next Target First Free Sunday will take place on Feb 9.

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  • Oriental Carpets in Early Renaissance Paintings

    Talks & Lectures, and part of Society For Asian Art

    Sep 04
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    $10 (after museum admission)

    6:30—7:30 PM

    Education Studios

    This presentation will take us beyond the traditional notion that all carpets in European paintings were status symbols and luxury items of Muslim manufacture. Instead, Arnold’s research indicates that the earliest carpets were brought to Italy and Flanders by Eastern Christians during periods of militant incursions into their ancestral lands in Asia Minor. These early carpets were objects of veneration in their homelands with deep religious significance. In their new surroundings, the humble flat-weave carpets were treasured as sacred reminders of the past, copied by painters in paintings over centuries, and finally preserved in local church treasuries as relics.

    Lauren Arnold is an independent scholar with degrees in history and art history from the University of Michigan. Periodically she serves as an adjunct professor in world art history at the University of San Francisco, where she is also a research associate with the Ricci Institute. She lectures widely on East-West artistic contact. She has posted her work online – The Carpet Index on the photo-sharing site Flickr.

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