Exhibition Program: Karun Thakar's Collecting for Curiosity and Inspiration

Wed, 20 April, 2022 4:00pm
Detail of a textile with figures in colorful structures

Choga embroidered with figurative scenes (detail), Kashmir, c. 1830. Karun Thakar Collection, London.

Join an illustrated conversation with Curator Lee Talbot and collector Karun Thakar, whose collection is displayed alongside highlights from the museum’s holdings in the exhibition Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design. Thakar and Talbot will compare Thakar’s collecting interests with those of George Hewitt Myers, the museum’s founder, and consider connections between the two collections.

After outlining some of the challenges in planning a large-scale exhibition during the pandemic, they will take a closer look at some textiles currently on view, discussing aspects of their acquisition, research and conservation. Additional topics will include Thakar’s collecting in other areas, as well as the recently established Karun Thakar Fund at the Victoria and Albert Museum, which offers scholarships for early career researchers and practitioners in the field of Asian and African textiles.

About the Exhibition

Vibrant textiles have long been synonymous with Indian culture. Their distinctive abstract, floral and figurative patterns have inspired countless variations. Featuring masterworks from The Textile Museum Collection and the private collection of Karun Thakar, this major exhibition and accompanying publication showcase court weavings, folk embroideries and other fabrics from the eight through the early 20th centuries. Learn more about the exhibition.

About Karun Thakar

Karun Thakar has been an avid collector since childhood. At the heart of his diverse collections are textiles from India, Africa, Japan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and Europe. Thakar is passionate about sharing his collection with audiences across the world. Through exhibitions, publications and scholarship, he wishes to contribute to a wider understanding of the postcolonial cultural and personal narratives of different communities.

About Lee Talbot

Lee Talbot joined The Textile Museum as a curator in 2007, specializing in East Asian textiles. He has curated numerous exhibitions and published catalogs, articles and textbook chapters. Talbot was previously curator at the Chung Young Yang Embroidery Museum in Seoul, Korea. He has a bachelor’s from Rhodes College, a M.B.A. from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a master’s from Bard Graduate Center.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (12 p.m. EDT / 9 a.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About the Series

Virtual and in-person programs explore themes from the exhibition Indian Textiles: 1,000 Years of Art and Design. Browse upcoming programs

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