Exhibition: A Durable Thread: The Silk Road from China to America

August 29th — December 2nd, 2022
South Gallery & East Gallery, Ben Shahn Center for the Visual Arts


He Zhang, Casey Mathern

Hosted By

William Paterson University Art Galleries


A Durable Thread: The Silk Road from China to America unites silk textiles and designs from China, Central and Southeast Asia, Europe, and America with an emphasis on the Silk City of Paterson, NJ. Silk became desirable globally for luxury goods due to its unique structure and luminosity. Chinese silk traveled to Central Asia and South Asia through trade networks, and Italy became the center of silk weaving outside of China as early as the early modern period. Immigration extended the Silk Road to the northeastern United States, arriving in Paterson, New Jersey during the Industrial Revolution, giving the city nicknames like “Silk City” and the “Lyons of America.”

This exhibition intends to demonstrate the enduring use of silk as a visual medium and its practical use in China, South and Central Asia, Europe, and America, illustrating how a single invention opened up a global network of trade, learning, and industrialization, transforming the social lives of the cities it traversed. The exhibition will unite costumes and textiles created according to regional tastes and techniques at various points along the Silk Road with materials documenting the local design and manufacture of silk goods in Paterson, NJ. Lenders to the exhibition include the Allentown Art Museum, Cora Ginsburg LLC, the Paterson Museum, Prof. He Zhang, and Ms. Wu Junli.

For more information, please call the Center for Chinese Art at (973) 720-2799, or by visitng wpunj.edu/ccart. For exhibition viewing hours and locations, please call the University Galleries at (973) 720-2654, or by visiting wpunj.edu/coac/gallery.

Return to CCART