What happens when foreign influences come knocking on your door? Do you turn your back and hold your traditions more tightly? Or do you find a way to adapt new ways and form a unique cultural hybrid?
Those questions, faced by many societies throughout history, are examined within a Middle Eastern context in an intriguing new exhibition at Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum.
Transforming Traditions: The Arts of 19th-Century Iran captures the country at a time when it was being pulled by outside forces, both Western and Asian, even as it sought to consolidate its territories and identity. The resulting conflict is writ large in the fascinating arts and crafts produced under the Qajar dynasty (1794–1925).
The exhibit is now open and runs until Feb. 10, 2019.