Muslim Heritage: Carpets from the Islamic World

“Dream and Trauma” exhibition hosted by the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin

April 02nd, 2019
Ekaterine Kolesnikova, News from Berlin
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“Dream and Trauma” is a current exhibition name hosted by the Museum of Islamic Art (Museum für Islamische Kunst) in Berlin. The exhibition shows the visitors some of the oldest carpets of Islamic cultures that have long been a luxury commodity sought by textile museums, rich collectors and wealthy merchants all over the world. They also represented an integral part of European rich cultural heritage and cultural history.

Until now carpets represent one of the most valuable art items gathered by museums and wealthy families. Moreover, carpeting is becoming one of the fundamental ingredients of today's living standard in the modern era.

Not only do these collection pieces represent a testimony to the continuing cultural dialogue and exchange between Europe and the Middle East they also create a focal point in the permanent exhibition of the Museum of Islamic Art.

The visitors are invited to admire and experience the origin and history of the museum’s selection of the carpets. These masterpieces come from the former private collection of the museum founder, Wilhelm von Bode. His interest in Islamic art resulted in the acquisition of the huge and unique collection, still rare today. 

In the aftermath of the Second World War, a significant number of Persian carpets were damaged as a result of the bombing and fire. The destruction of a significant number of the Persian carpets was a serious loss of the collection. 

Over time the European perception of Muslim carpeting has developed and changed. Something that emerged as a rare luxurious item gifted to the holy and saintly figures, was later held only by the wealthy and well-established local carpet industries, thus making it an affordable commodity to a wider public.


News from Berlin