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From the looms of Yazd and Isfahan: Persian carpets and textiles in Portugal

Tuesday 11 February 2020, 6.30PM to 7.30PM

Speaker(s): Dr Jessica Hallett

Iranian carpets and textiles are recorded in Portuguese sources from the 1540s and exist in museum collections from the late sixteenth century. These documents and objects offer important information for understanding the development of these art forms, as well as for tracking Portuguese consumption during the ‘golden age’ of the Overseas Expansion. This paper will look at this subject from two perspectives: firstly, from the earliest written records, and then, from the optic of science and recent analyses of dyes, fibres and threads, to reconstruct the evolution of these Iranian industries as they responded to ever increasing demand from Europe. Not only did Iranian artisans create new products but they also adopted new materials from as far away as the Americas.

About the speaker

Dr Jessica Hallett

Jessica Hallett is curator of the Early Modern Middle East at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Lisbon. She received her doctorate in Islamic Art and Archaeology from Oxford University and her thesis gave rise to the exhibition, Iraq and China. Ceramics, trade and innovation, at the Freer|Sackler Gallery, Washington (2004). She has co-curated various exhibitions in Lisbon, including Cultures of the Indian Ocean (1998) and The Oriental Carpet in Portugal (2007 – awarded the Reynaldo Santos Prize). Her publications include contributions to a diverse range of academic journals, books and catalogues, as well as the book Mamluk Glass in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (2000) and De Todas Partes do Mundo, O Inventário do 5o Duque de Bragança, D. Teodósio I, c. 1563 (2018). Her recent activities involve a new gallery intervention Crossing Cultures, Crossing Time, and the exhibition The Rise of Islamic Art on Calouste Gulbenkian’s collecting activities in geopolitical and historical context (2019). 


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Location: Bowland Auditorium, Berrick Saul Building

Admission: Free admission, booking required