Ruth Barnes: Dressing For The Great Game

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Ruth Barnes: Dressing For The Great Game
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Asia Society Texas Center says
In the winter of 1868-69, the tea planter and explorer Robert Shaw traveled from northern India to eastern Turkestan. At the time, Central Asia was the setting of the Great Game — the espionage and power wrangle between England and Russia over the international control of the area — and it attracted several intrepid travelers. Shaw was the first Englishman to visit Yarkand and Kashgar. He kept a regular diary which he published after his return, where he described the splendid dress he encountered and mentioned on several occasions receiving gifts of coats and other garments. The finest of these were presented to him by Yakub Beg, then the ruler of Kashgar.

When Ruth Barnes was working at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, she came across an undocumented collection of Central Asian garments. In this illustrated lecture, Barnes traces an undocumented collection of these garments back nearly 150 years to Robert Shaw.



About Ruth Barnes

Ruth Barnes received a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford, based on her research in eastern Indonesia. She has written extensively on Indonesian weaving and related art forms. From 1990 to the end of 2009 Barnes was textile curator at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, where she focused on early Indian Ocean trade networks. She has published, co-authored, and co-edited multiple books focusing on textiles. In January 2010 Barnes left the Ashmolean and moved to Yale, where she now is Senior Curator of the Yale University Art Gallery’s newly endowed Department of Indo-Pacific Art.
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By: Asia Society Texas Center

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