Aga Khan Museum Toronto Exhibition: Carpets from the East in Paintings from the West

Jun 6 2015 to Oct 18 2015

Aga Khan Museum Toronto Exhibition: Carpets from the East in Paintings from the West

Toronto, June 5, 2015 – Pairing luxurious textiles from Turkey, Iran, and Syria with richly detailed 17th-century paintings by Dutch and Flemish masters, the exhibition A Thirst for Riches: Carpets from the East in Paintings from the West opens June 6 at the Aga Khan Museum. Running until October 18, the exhibition features signature carpets and paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, supplemented by loans from the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto; the Leiden Collection, New York; the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the Marshall and Marilyn R. Wolf Collection, Toronto.

“Paintings by Dutch and Flemish old masters are treasures of most museum collections,” notes Aga Khan Museum Director and CEO Henry Kim. “But how many of us have asked what Eastern carpets are doing in many of them? A Thirst for Riches asks this question and more: it challenges us to take a fresh look at European paintings and to explore the connections between East and West.”

“We are also excited to showcase textiles from two exceptional Toronto collections,” says Curator Filiz Çakır Phillip. “Though A Thirst for Riches is based on the exhibition Carpets of the East in Paintings from the West, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2014, Canadian additions like these really customize the exhibition for our venue.” Painted manuscripts from the Aga Khan Museum Collection enhance A Thirst for Riches by depicting Eastern carpets in their original contexts.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Fresh from conservation, two remarkable portraits by Flemish master Jacob van Oost the Elder;
  • A beautifully preserved fragment of a 16th-century Ushak carpet showing how Eastern textiles may have been cut for European markets; and
  • One still life by Willem Kalf (1619-93), perhaps the most influential painter of this genre in the mid-to-late 17th century.

Curator’s talks will be held June 9 and September 9 from 6:30–7:30 pm. For more information about exhibition-related programming and events, please visit

This exhibition is generously supported by the Hashoo Foundation and DUCA Credit Union. Fairmont Royal York is a promotional partner and CARP is a community partner.

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada has been established and developed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The Museum’s mission is to foster a greater understanding and appreciation of the contribution that Muslim civilizations have made to world heritage. Opened in September 2014, it is the first museum in North America to be dedicated to Muslim civilizations. Its stunning building, designed by Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki, houses two floors of exhibition space, a 350-seat auditorium, classrooms, and public areas designed to accommodate innovative programming for all ages and interests.

Author: ismailimail

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