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Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Edited by Darielle Mason
Essays by Dr. Cristin McKnight Sethi and Darielle Mason

Exquisite and labor-intensive, phulkari (“floral-work” or “flower-craft”) embroideries were originally produced by women in towns and villages across the greater Punjab, a region that today straddles Pakistan and India, from at least the early nineteenth century into the first decades of the twentieth. Phulkaris were made from brightly colored silk thread on rough, earth-toned fabric. When done for domestic use, they functioned primarily as women’s wraps at weddings or other important events. Especially following the Punjab’s devastating partition in 1947, phulkaris were also produced as commercial exports. Focusing on a group of nineteen stunning works from the collection of Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, this exhibition surveys the genre’s fascinating history. This is the first publication outside South Asia specifically on this art form. It also offers significant new information on the craft and its importance to personal, familial, and regional identity in the past and the present.

About the Authors
Darielle Mason is the Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art and head of the Department of South Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Dr. Cristin McKnight Sethi is an assistant professor at ‎George Washington University, Washington, DC.

Paper over board
96 pages
95 color illus.
11 ¾ x 9 ¾ inches
ISBN: 9780300225907