Russian Textiles showcases the gorgeous printed-cotton textiles created and manufactured in Russia and exported to Central Asia from approximately 1860 to 1960. More than 175 spectacular patterns spanning a variety of periods and styles, from Art Nouveau florals to Soviet-era agitprop, are featured. The people in these Central Asian countries — including Uzbeks, Tadjiks, and Turkmen — incorporated the brightly patterned material into their clothing, particularly their robes, and in their household items.
Brief essays by the author and fellow textile experts describe the "social life" of the fabrics and the fascinating history of this merging of Russian, Western, and Central Asian aesthetic styles; Robert Kushner contributes a lively text on how an artist "sees" and is inspired by these designs. Complementing the pattern images are vintage photographs from the turn of the 20th century as well as beautifully detailed reproductions of the robes and other articles that were lined and embellished with these cloths.