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Spring Programme 2015

Wednesday 21st January at 7pm

Dr Marjo Alafouzo will lecture on ‘Textile Designs in the 11th Century Murals of Alchi, Ladakh’

The lecture will discuss the textile patterns depicted in the secular murals in two of the 11th century Tibetan Buddhist temples at Alchi, in Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. The textile designs are painted on the costumes of the people and also decorate the ceiling, and they vary from sumptuous to more simple patterns. This talk will suggest origins for some of the textile designs at Alchi.

Marjo Alafouzo obtained her PhD in 2008 from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where she lectured for a number of years. Her current research is on the iconography of the pre-14th century Ladakhi murals.

Publications: The Iconography and the Historical Context of the Drinking Scene in the Dukhang at Alchi, Ladakh, in Art and Architecture in Ladakh, eds. Lo Bue, Erberto and Bray John; Brill, 2014.


Wednesday 11th February at 7pm

Joan Fisher will lecture on ‘Khayamiya - the Tentmakers of Cairo’

Egyptian Tent Making is an ancient art form done since Pharonic time. Joan will consider what these exotic appliquéd tents are, who makes them, the historical background, and their position today. The talk will take people through the evolution of the art, drawing on antique and contemporary pieces from the speakers collection and from museum examples.

She will show images by Sam Bowker, whose journal articles are in HALI 179, Craft + Design Enquiry #6, and the International Journal of Islamic Architecture Vol. 3 Issue 2. His book is to be published by the American University in Cairo Press in February 2016. Joan is an Art Gallery Manager and textile collector who has lived in the Middle East for a significant part of her adult life.


Friday 20th March at 11.30am

Visit to the ‘British Museum Textile Centre at Blythe House to see selections from their Middle Eastern and Central Asian Collections’, including Lakai Uzbek embroidered textiles collected by Pip Rau, recently acquired ikat and brocade coats from Bukhara and a selection of Afghan war rugs.

The British Museum holds an outstanding textile collection of over 22,000 items from across the world spanning a period of over 5,000 years. The visit will be led by Helen Wolfe, Textile Collections Manager and Dr Fahmida Suleman, Phyllis Bishop Curator for the Modern Middle East. See Separate Flyer.


***NB New Venue***

The Oriental Rug and Textile Society now meets at: St James Piccadilly Conference Room, 197 Piccadilly, London W1J 9LL. If you stand on Piccadilly facing the courtyard of St James Church, go down the passageway “Church Place”, on the left hand side of the redbrick administrative buildings. The conference room entrance is in Church Place which runs between Jermyn Street and Piccadilly. There is a wrought iron gate signed “Church Hall Conference Room” leading down stairs. Doors open from 6pm. Drinks and snacks are served.

Piccadilly Circus tube is 5 mins walk, and Green Park Tube is 8 mins walk. Free parking in St James Square after 6.30pm.

Non-members welcome to attend £7 a lecture, or £20 for membership with one year of 11 events.

Full details of membership can be found here.