The Wagner Garden Carpet – a late 17th-century Persian carpet never before seen in the United States – will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art now through October 7, 2018.Staff from Glasgow Museums with the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.
Titled Eternal Springtime: A Persian Garden Carpet from the Burrell Collection, the collaboration between the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, and The Metropolitan Museum, New York, will provide a rare opportunity for members of the public to see the earliest example of a garden carpet outside of Asia.
Detail of the Wagner Garden Carpet. The Burrell Collection. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.
The Wagner Garden Carpet is considered to be one of only three early surviving Persian garden carpets in the world. The design of this particular carpet is unique and no other examples resembling it or using part of its base-pattern have yet been identified. Measuring 5309 mm (17.5 ft) in height and 4318 mm (14.2 ft) in width, Wagner Garden has rarely been seen on display and has spent most of its time in storage at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow.
Named after an early 20th century owner, the carpet is a 17th century Persian Kirman pile carpet with a formal garden layout. Unusual for this type of garden carpet, it almost invokes a heavenly walled menagerie that immerses the person sitting on it in its natural but well-ordered world. The design was inspired by both the pre-Islamic Persian Paradise and the descriptions of the Garden of Heaven in the Qur’an.
Eternal Springtime will be displayed in the Metropolitans suite of 15 galleries and takes place whilst the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, undergoes an estimated £66 million refurbishment of its building and redisplay of its extensive Collection.
When the Burrell Collection reopens in late 2020, The Wagner Garden Carpet will be focal object of a three-carpet display that explores heavenly gardens in Islamic art as depicted on Persian carpets.
Director of Burrell Renaissance, James Robinson, says, “Expanding our international reach, reputation and impact is core to the Burrell Collection’s vision that will enable the Collection to engage with the world in new and more meaningful ways. Our collaboration with the Metropolitan Museum demonstrates the Burrell’s reach, in geography and material culture, which will see the collection regarded rightly as a global resource.”