Collections: Arts of the Americas: Tapestry

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

On View: Bowl with Alternate Impressed and Red-polished Panels

Egyptologists are not certain whether this bowl from an Upper Egyptian grave was made by a Nubian or an Egyptian. The zigzag patterns create...

Hiroshige's One Hundred Famous Views of Edo

Hiroshige's 118 woodblock landscape and genre scenes of mid-nineteenth-century Tokyo, is one of the greatest achievements of Japanese art.

    On View: Snuff Mortar (Tesa Ya Ma Kanya)

    The figure forming the stopper of this snuff container can be identified as a chief by the elaborate headdress, or mutwe wa kaynda, he wears...


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    Tapestries, rugs, and rich fabrics were among the most valuable goods in early colonial households, second only to jewels and precious objects in gold and silver. The private market for these textiles was stimulated once Europeans realized such works’ importance in pre-Columbian cultures.

    The sixteenth-century Peruvian tapestry at the left features both European and indigenous motifs, including a spotted dog (a symbol of the Dominican order) in the central field and animals from the Peruvian ornamental repertoire, such as snakes, viscachas (Andean rodents), rabbits, and birds. Native and non-native motifs were also combined in later colonial examples, such as the tapestry at the right from Cajamarca with a mermaid, a European element that was very popular in Peru, surrounded by Andean animals.

    Los tapices, alfombras y ricas telas se contaban entre los bienes más valiosos de las casas del periodo colonial temprano, luego de las joyas y objetos preciosos de oro y plata. El mercado privado para estos textiles se vio estimulado cuando los europeos se percataron de su valor para las culturas precolombinas.

    El tapiz peruano del siglo XVI presentado a la izquierda incluye motivos tanto europeos como indígenas; entre ellos destacan un perro moteado (símbolo de la orden Dominicana) en el campo central y animales del repertorio ornamental peruano, tales como serpientes, vizcachas (roedores andinos), conejos y pájaros. Motivos nativos y europeos también se combinan en ejemplos coloniales posteriores, como en este tapiz de Cajamarca presentado a la derecha en el que una sirena, elemento europeo muy popular en el Perú, aparece en el centro rodeada por animales andinos.

    This text refers to these objects: ' 40.134; 46.133.1

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