Significance of Silk Road Captured in WSU Library Art Exhibit

OGDEN, Utah – An exhibit that follows the trade routes responsible for the development of the civilizations of China, India, Persia, Europe and Arabia is on display at Weber State University’s Stewart Library. The collection includes 32 photographs, 20 ceremonial and traditional head coverings and a pair of traditional Mongolian boots.

Zakhchin woman transporting harvested hay with horse and camels (Mongolia)

The exhibit, “Threads of the Silk Road,” is sponsored by Zions Bank and the Utah Arts Council’s Traveling Exhibition and is part of a continuing series of exhibits presented by the Friends of the Stewart Library.

The romance and influence of the legendary Silk Road has been a subject of centuries of fascination, from the medieval account of Marco Polo’s travel to cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s contemporary Silk Road Project. This vast network of trade routes from China to the Mediterranean opened the Far East to European lands. It was a conduit for cultural, economic and technological exchange, representing the earliest form of globalization.

“Everyone in the world has been influenced by the trading exchanges along the silk road,” said Jamie Weeks, associate curator of Digital and Archival Collections. “This is a fascinating exhibit as it provides a very personal journey along a path that has existed for 2,000 years, providing us with insight into the traditions, celebrations and lives of the tribes along the 7,000-mile path.”

This collection of evocative photographs depicts surviving remnants of the historic Silk Road. Themes of travel, trade and tribes are evidence today of the Silk Road’s ancient past. Colorful, ceremonial hats, traditional head coverings and travelling gear accompany the exhibit.

Horsemen, in traditional Mongolian warrior costume, at a Genghis Khan reenactment (Mongolia)

Photographer Edgar Gomez traveled to countries along the Silk Road while conducting research projects in his work as the international director of a Utah biotechnology company. His photographs have been featured in “Newsweek” and “Current Biology” and in exhibits in the United States and Central Asia.

“The hats are breathtaking, made of silk and velvet, with brilliant colors and styles for every occasion,” Weeks said. “The photographs depict how gifted Edgar Gomez-Palmieri really is as he gives us an opportunity to look into the daily lives of the tribes, travels and trades of the route.”

Threads of the Silk Road will be on display in the WSU Stewart Library from Sept. 17-Nov. 19, 2012. The Stewart Library is open Monday-Thursday from 7 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday 1-9 p.m. Accompanying educational materials are available.

For more information on viewing the exhibition, please call 801-626-6486 or go to

Jamie Weeks, associate curator, Digital and Archival Collections
801-626-6486 •
Jamie Weeks, associate curator, Digital and Archival Collections
801-626-6486 •