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Kyrgyz Textiles: Introducing the John L. Sommer Collections

March 3 - March 28

The John L. Sommer Collection, comprising rare examples of Kyrgyz textiles, was recently donated to the Nickle Galleriessignificantly expanding the Gallery’s holdings of Central Asian textiles. In addition to important examples of felt textiles and carpets, the Collection introduces a series of reed screens—textiles that are deeply rooted in Kyrgyz nomadic traditions. While the technique of turning reeds or grasses into textiles is practiced widely, the Kyrgyz are masters at embellishing their screens, wrapping each reed with precise patterns that are revealed only after being woven together. These remarkable, typically ephemeral textiles were used for a variety of purposes—from small covers, containers, and suspended shelves to large-scale walls and screens. Reed screens share a rich repertoire of patterns, colors, and motifs with other Kyrgyz textiles, particularly carpets, felts, and embroidery.


Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary
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