An ICOC Educational Experience: The Architecture, Carpets and Textiles of Moorish Spain and Portugal
By Dennis R. Dodds, Secretary-general International Conference on Oriental Carpets (ICOC) March 17, 2005.
History, culture, architecture and art of Andalusian Spain are inextricably linked to an Islamic design heritage that began there some 1,300 years ago. The astounding wealth of culture in al-Andalus became a turning point in the successful recovery of the Iberian Peninsula after the collapse of Rome. On this tour we will visit major cities and places where fine buildings, since transformed, but with their integrity intact, still resonate with the ancient call of the caliphs.
While the expulsion of the Moors in the 15th -century essentially ended an important period of Iberian history, the rich subtext of their unique language of pattern lingered in the mudejar style that followed. We will see numerous examples of Moorish and mudejar design in the museums of Madrid, in the legendary cities and palaces of Al-Andalus, and in Lisbon.
Weavings in Spain and Portugal were often influenced by early Turkish, Persian and European models, yet express their distinctive Iberian palette, technique and unique twists on style and pattern. We will see important carpet examples in Madrid’s Instituto de Valencia de Don Juan and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, as well as in Lisbon’s famous Calouste Gulbenkian Museum and Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga.
This tour launches a new activity within ICOC’s mission for increasing our understanding of weaving traditions, blending the culture and history of a region with its carpets and textiles. Future ICOC tours will focus on indigenous weavings and others on visiting the finest examples found in museums and private collections.
All of us interested in the art, history and medieval culture of these civilizations share a remarkable intellectual and aesthetic journey. These experiences influence our values and add meaning to our perception of the world.
We invite you to join us.
Dennis R. Dodds, Secretary-general International Conference on Oriental Carpets (ICOC)
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