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"The Rich Life and The Dance, Weavings from Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Egypt"
2001-02-24 until 2001-04-22
Indianapolis Museum of Art
From the introduction of Christianity to the advent of Islam in 640 AD, certain types of cloths commonly known as Coptic textiles were produced in Egypt. Often buried with corpses, these cloths and garments survived in Egypt's arid climate, which provided ideal conditions for their preservation until they were excavated in the late 19th century. This exhibition is comprised of approximately 100 Egyptian textile fragments, including two full tunics, the principle garment of both men and women, which were often embellished with decorative bands and panels.
The hand-woven fabrics, most of them dating from the 3rd to 7th centuries, feature images of dancers, haloed saints with hands raised in prayer and a myriad of flora and fauna evoking the abundance of the Nile Valley. Some display Arabic inscriptions celebrating divine power. All provide colorful glimpses into a world of the past: what people wore, how they decorated their homes and how they perceived nature and the supernatural.
The collection was formed by Mrs. Rose Choron, a private collector. The exhibition was organized by the Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.