Monday, May 07, 2007

Off The Beaten Track

The National Textile Musuem is housed in an historic building in the Kalorama neighbourhood of DC just a few blocks north from the hustle bustle of Dupont Cirle. Unlike the other DC musuems there is a five dollar suggested donation. The current exhibition on the tent bands of Central Asia is a little detailed for amateurs. So if like us you have a rather limited knowledge of weaving, you will have to limit yourself to admiring the beauty of these intricately woven tent bands, which for all intents and purposes look like very long runners.
I personally liked the other exhibition about all kinds of red textiles and their historic significance. The most interesting of them all was a fragment of Indian silk with a terrifying half man-half corcodile creature, a bunch of vulture like birds and some other vile creatures painted on it. No one really knows what it means but it is really old. The oldest piece on display is a 6th century Coptic fragment which does not really look that old.
The musuem also has a lovely garden and since not many people come this way (the adjacent buildings are embassies) it seemed perfect for spending a weekend afternoon on the grass with a good book. We might go back and do just that.

This door with its etched lions caught my eye
on the way to the musuem

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