Persian Pictorial Rugs

Bahram Gur and the Shepherd, Kashan, c. 1900

This rug is one part of a pair.  It is a perfect mirror image of its mate, even in the calligraphy, which appears as mirror writing on this rug.  
Both rugs are part of the MGMoA's permanent collections and both
are on display for this exhibition.  See a photo of both rugs on our facebook page.

February 3 – March 25, 2012

A rare assemblage of pictorial rugs from the Middle East, this exhibit features several rugs from private collections in the United States, primarily from that of M. Mehdy Douraghy, and two rugs from the museum's collections.

Persian rugs with images of people are extremely rare, as most were adorned with floral or geometric patterns. The first evidence of rug design dates back to the 9th century BCE, and the oldest known pictorial rug is from the 6th century BCE.  Due to the fragility of the materials, very few existing rugs date to before the 16th century.  The pictorial rug tradition blossomed at the end of the 19th century.  The subjects of pictorial rugs include kings and leaders, stories from the Bible or the Koran, and legendary heroes. 


Exhibit Lecture and Reception featuring
M. Mehdy Douraghy
7:00 pm, Friday, February 17
This event is free and open to the public. 

  • Allied Arts
  • Oklahoma Arts
  • National Endowment

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