Sunday, September 7, 2008

Shared Beauty: Eastern Rugs & Western Purses

Though beaded purses were fashionable through the 19th and early 20th centuries, they became extremely popular in the 1920s as an integral part of the flapper-era costumes, greatly complementing the period’s beaded evening dresses. A wide variety of patterns were depicted on these bags, including flowers, trees, birds, animals, landscapes and other popular motifs.

However, some of the most fashionable designs were copied from the patterns of Persian, Turkish, Caucasian, and Indian carpets and textiles.

In "Shared Beauty: Eastern Rugs & Western Purses", an exhibition at Indianapolis Museum of Art continuing through 8 March 2009, beaded bags are displayed alongside rugs with similar patterns. This juxtaposition explores the motifs common to these objects, provides a closer look at Orientalism, and investigates the influences of Eastern art on Western art, fashion, and culture.

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