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Exhibition Review | ‘Traveling the Silk Road’

November 17, 2009

The New York Times featured an exhibition review on the Silk Road at the American Museum of Natural History, as reported by Edward Rothstein.

“You are about to make an unusual journey,” a wall label proclaims at the beginning of an exhibition that opens on Saturday at the American Museum of Natural History. Normally that promise would provide reason enough to be wary. But this is something different.

You are welcomed by life-size camels laden with worn canvas sacks, their bodies framed by sand dunes stretching into the distance. A while later, near a 17-foot-long wooden Chinese loom, you find bowls filled with mulberry leaves on which scores of white worms are gnawing. You see, too, what kind of cocoons they soon will weave, and how these sacs might then be boiled and unwound into silk threads. And later still, you seem to arrive in an outdoor market in evening as the sounds of footfalls and animal cries mix with the murmur of voices; stalls are piled with produce, furs and spices, including a leopard skin, a yak tail, pheasant feathers, lapis lazuli and barrels whose smell suggests that they are filled with rose petals, jasmine oil and patchouli.

To read the entire article and view a slideshow, visit NYTimes.com

To learn more about travel to China, including following the Silk Road route, see a full itinerary on our site of ‘Silk Road: History’s Great Thoroughfare’ China Trip.

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