The Silk Road was an ancient network of trade routes that extended from Asia to the Mediterranean Sea, linking powerful civilizations such as Rome and China. Featuring over forty intriguing objects, both ancient and modern, from the Art Institute's collection, this volume explores the Silk Road's fascinating historical and contemporary significance. Ranging from ancient Chinese tomb figures to works by such contemporary artists as Lalla Essaydi, the selections reflect an intense exchange between cultures and provide new ways of looking at and thinking about Eastern and Western art. With an essay that explores how the Silk Road fostered an exchange of goods, styles, and ideas between East and West, the book also includes a conversation between James Cu, the museum's director, and the founder of the Silk Road Project Yo-Yo Ma. They discuss the Silk Road as a metaphor for the continuous circulation of visual and musical motifs and ideas between cultures today.
Karen Manchester is Elizabeth McIlvaine Curator of Ancient Art and James Cuno is President and Eloise W. Martin Director, both at the Art Institute of Chicago. Yo-Yo Ma is a Grammy Award - winning cellist and founder of the Silk Road Project. Milo C. Beach is former director of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution.