In the crowded center of Historic Cairo lies a covered market lined with wonderful textiles sewn by hand in brilliant colors and intricate patterns. This is the Street of the Tentmakers, the home of the Egyptian appliqué art known as ‘khayamiya.’
The Tentmakers of Cairo brings together the stories of the tentmakers and their extraordinary tents—from the huge tent pavilions, or suradiq, of the streets of Egypt, to the souvenirs of the First World War and textile artworks celebrated by quilters around the world. It traces the origins and aesthetics of the khayamiya textiles that enlivened the ceremonial tents of the Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman dynasties, exploring the ways in which they challenged conventions under new patrons and technologies, inspired the paper cut-outs of Henri Matisse and continue to preserve a legacy of skilled handcraft in an age of relentless mass production.
Drawing on historical literature, interviews with tentmakers, and analysis of khayamiya from around the world, Professor Sam Bowker will reveal the stories of this unique and spectacular Egyptian textile art, whose history survives through the legacies of American tourists and art collectors. Blending illustrations and real examples, this presentation surveys historic and contemporary khayamiya so that new examples may be discovered.
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Webinar ID: 981 8626 1548 International numbers available: https://clu.zoom.us/u/acT4Gx3Zmw
Image: “The Garden Panel,” circa 1980-1990s. Photograph by Timothy Crutchett.
Note: This lecture will be recorded and posted here within 24hrs of the original presentation, and will be available for the duration of the lecture series.