The internationally renowned textile collection contains about 4,500 textiles from 62 countries around the world that were made over four millennia, from 2000 BC to the present. The general emphasis is on masterpiece quality rather than comprehensive collections, with the greatest strengths dating before 1500. The most distinguished areas include textiles from Islamic lands (Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Spain, and Turkey), medieval China, Central Asia, and Italy as well as early lace and Peruvian South Coast textiles. In addition, contemporary fiber art is becoming increasingly important.
Art from Islamic Lands
The collection of art from Islamic lands is also well known. Most of the 178 artworks were made in Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey during the 8th through 17th centuries in ceramic, metalwork, glass, and on parchment and paper. The strongest holdings are in miniature paintings. In addition, the textile collection of about 450 examples ranks among the finest in the world.