past exhibition

As Precious as Gold: Carpets from the Islamic World

October 23, 2021 through February 27, 2022

“Lotto” Carpet with Closed Kufesque Border, first half 16th century, Ottoman period, 1281–1924, wool, 80 x 44 in., Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of James F. Ballard 101:1929 

As Precious as Gold, Carpets from the Islamic World, on view at the Currier Museum of Art from October 23, 2021 through February 27, 2022, features 32 carpets and one tent dating from the 15th century to the 19th century.  On loan from the Saint Louis Art Museum, this collection is considered one of the most significant in the world.  While the holdings clearly demonstrate strength in Anatolian material, the exhibition will begin chronologically with a Spanish rug, three Egyptian rugs and examples of “Lotto” and small-pattern “Holbein” carpets, all important examples from the late-15th- and 16th centuries. The pleasure tent, used for outdoor gatherings, is among the star attractions. Until recently, it was one of the only examples of such works in American museums.

Other standouts from the exhibit include a 16th-century Ushak Medallion, which is a masterpiece of its type, with an intricate design, quatrefoil medallion and vibrant blue and red shades that have not faded over time; and a finely preserved late 17th century Small Medallion carpet that is among the finest known today.

The textiles featured in the exhibition are organized according to geographical origin and style, with brief introductions that provide more detailed art historical information for each group.  The exhibition will describe how this art form evolved and spread beyond the East, allowing the visitor to experience the extraordinary combination of color and texture, form and function, meaning and mystery.

The outstanding quality of many of the rugs and detailed technical content make this exhibition appealing to experts and the general public. 

This exhibition is organized by the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Sponsored by PRG Rugs.
Additional funding provided by:
Kimon S. and Anne C. Zachos Exhibition Fund
Susan E. Strickler Exhibition Fund

Member-only preview: Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22

Curator-led tours for members will be offered on our Member Preview Days, and are available by reservation only; space is limited. Please contact our membership office to check availability and reserve your ticket: 603.518.4983 or

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upcoming exhibitions

past exhibitions

Archived material on past exhibitions can be explored further here, and recent past exhibition catalogues are available through the museum shop.

artist in residence

Our Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program invites artists to live and work at the museum. While in residence, artists consider the collection and community, and refresh our perspectives on the role of the museum. The program is central to the Currier Museum’s mission of connecting our audiences with art and creative thinking, whether of the past or the future. We hope to learn from our visiting artists – and be surprised by their perspectives.

Artists working in all media participate in the AIR program, which has three main components: 1) an open call to support emerging artists making socially engaged art; 2) an invitational through which artists are selected to develop special projects, commissions, or exhibitions; and 3) artist-led, community-centered public art projects in the city of Nashua, NH.


Open Call for Artist in Residence Applications

Our annual open call is currently live from October 1 – December 1, 2022. Artists who share the museum’s goal of positively impacting communities through the transformative power of art are encouraged to apply to this residency.

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