Arts of the Silk Road

Request Program

As a network of trade routes that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pacific Ocean, the Silk Road has played a critical role in facilitating the global exchange of art, religion, and technology since the 3rd century BCE. In addition to transporting silk and spices, these routes spread new artistic and iconographic motifs throughout Eurasia. In discussing the cross-cultural exchange between the Hellenistic world and greater Asia we will examine the role of the Silk Road as the world’s first information highway, utilizing objects from the VMFA’s permanent collection to shed light on this period of global cultural exchange.