Patterns of Life

    April 8, 2011 - August 22, 2011

    Carpets are an important decorative art in the Tibetan tradition, serving aesthetic and practical purposes in the monastic and domestic spheres. This exhibition will present the variety of styles, motifs, and functions of carpets and illuminate everyday life in Tibet. Much of the imagery used in Tibetan decorative arts, such as auspicious symbols, geometric patterns, and real and mythical animals, is also found in Tibetan fine art. This shared visual language will be explored through complementary paintings and sculptures from the museum's collection.

    To learn even more about Patterns of Life, read the press release.

    Curated by Becky Bloom

    Exhibition Resources

    iTunes UPodcast

    A discussion on Tibetan carpet collecting with Robert Baylis.

    Download the podcast from iTunes U

    Installation Photographs

    Click here to view the installation of Patterns of Life.


    Exhibition Catalog

    Patterns of Life
    The Art of Tibetan Carpets

    Thomas Cole
    with an introduction by Diana K. Myers

    For centuries Tibetans have used carpets for decorative and functional purposes, favoring colorful dyes and lively designs to enrich their homes and monasteries. Not bound by the codified rules governing the creation of religious art, the artisans who wove carpets often demonstrated a delightful sense of imagination in their work, drawing inspiration from a wide range of sources. Carpet motifs such as medallions and checkerboard patterns suggest considerable influence from Tibet's historical textile trading partners, countries as close as China and as distant as Iran. Other popular imagery, such as the snow lion, is indigenous to the region.

    With exceptional examples of saddle rugs, sleeping rugs, pile pillows, cushion covers, and door rugs, Patterns of Life explores the stylistic variety and uses of Tibetan carpets in the everyday life of the Tibetan people.

    Publisher: Rubin Museum of Art
    Published: 2010
    Binding: Hardcover
    Pages: 104; 60 full-color illustrations
    ISBN: 13:978-0-9845190-0-2

    Purchase this limited edition catalog now for the lowest price. As each group of 100 books is sold, the price will increase by $10.00.  Early purchasers receive the best price.


    Exhibition Reading List

    Patterns of Life: The Art of Tibetan Carpets by Thomas Cole

    Dream Weavers: Textile Art from the Tibetan Plateau by Thomas Cole

    Temple Household Horseback: Rugs of the Tibetan Plateau by Diana K. Myers

    Of Wool and Loom: The Tradition of Tibetan Rugs by Kesang Tashi and Trinley Chodrak

    The Tibetan and Chinese Carpet: A Expression in Symbols by Alexander Fazio