Artists Transforming Afghanistan, Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
From its critical position on the ancient Silk Road, Afghanistan absorbed traditions from India, Persia, and Central Asia and blended them into a distinct artistic culture. Decades of civil unrest that began in the 1970s nearly destroyed this vital heritage.
Turquoise Mountain has transformed the Murad Khani district of Old Kabul from slum conditions into a vibrant cultural and economic centre. To tell this transformative story of culture and heritage, Afghan woodworkers have created magnificent wood arcades, screens, and a pavilion, all carved by hand from Himalayan cedar. Visitors wander among these arcades and explore spectacular contemporary carpets, jewellery, and calligraphy, all complemented by videos and visitations by the Afghan artisans who made them.
Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, 1050 Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/turquoisemountain/