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From Ashgabat to Istanbul: Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections

Date Oct 8, 2014 - Apr 19, 2015
Curated by Natalia Nekrassova

Exhibition Overview

This exhibition will showcase Canadian society’s profound appreciation of different cultural traditions and its deep-rooted interest in faraway countries and cultures. Through the display of rugs from 30 private collections from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, and a selection of rugs from the TMC and other museums, the exhibition will explore the history of rug collecting in Canada as well as the relationship between the country’s private collectors and museums.

Additional Information

The history of Canadian collecting practices and cultural context of the Oriental rug production will be visualized in a beautiful display of over 70 distinctive rugs, horse and camel decorations, and tent bands and bags from Central and West Asia – regions well known for the richness of their rug weaving traditions developed by diverse cultures and peoples. With its rich cultural content, From Ashgabat to Istanbul: Oriental Rugs from Canadian Collections will be a window into their complex and ancient traditions, a meaningful access to the diverse and multifaceted Canadian heritage as well as a captivating journey and a rich learning experience for those interested in Canadian history and world cultures, for those familiar with Oriental rugs and those seeing them for the first time.

Related Programs and Events


In conjunction with the exhibition From Ashgabat to Istanbul and the launch of the TMC's 40th anniversary, we are pleased to host Oriental rug specialist Daniel Walker, the former Director of the Textile Museum in Washington and current Chair and Curator of Asian Art and Textiles at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Exclusive Cocktail Reception and Dinner with Special Guest and After Dinner Speaker Daniel Walker
Rare Beauty: Thoughts on Oriental Rugs

Wednesday October 8 at 6:30 pm
Tickets $250 per person. To reserve: 416-599-5321 x2246 or Charitable tax receipts will be issued for the maximum allowable amount.

Lecture and Reception with Daniel Walker
Collecting Pattern: Exploring the Origins of Oriental Carpet Design

Thursday October 9 at 6:30 pm
General admission $45, TMC Patrons/Members $35. Tickets available online.

Learn more about Daniel Walker >

Rug, Iran, 17th century, T03.47.11
Rug, China, Khotan, 19th century, T04.19.11
Prayer rug, Turkey, 19th century, T81.0079
Salt bag, Iran, early to mid 20th century, T86.0785
Rug, Afghanistan, 20th century, T94.2282
Rug, Afghanistan, 1980s, T02.13.15