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Dancers in Repose Edgar Degas
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Dancers in Repose (72.441) — Edgar Degas

Asia in Aragón: Carpet Production in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain

Friday, May 07, 2010 |6:30 PM

  • For Everyone

A lecture by Dr. Heather Ecker

The carpet production of the Iberian Peninsula never matched that of Turkey in the late medieval and pre-modern periods, but was important enough for its products to be exported around the Mediterranean, and beyond, and especially for the Murcian production, to come under Christian patronage, both royal and noble. From the surviving examples, and our understanding of their historical progression, it is clear that carpets produced in Spain were also made at various levels, some rustic, others urban. What is also clear and truly remarkable, is that despite the disruptions of war, conquest, displacement and forced religious conversion in the late medieval and early modern periods, carpet making remained a quintessential Islamic craft, transmitted over hundreds of years from mother to daughter in an unending chain until the breach of the expulsion of the Moriscos in the early 17th century.  In this lecture, Ecker will address aspects of the production of carpets in the region of Murcia and Albacete, from the 13th-16th centuries, including the social context of carpet making, problems of design transmission, craft traditions and mechanisms of patronage.

Dr. Heather Ecker is Curator of Islamic Art and Head of Department, The Arts of Asia and the Islamic World at the Detroit Institute of Arts