East Meets West in Patterns of Weaving one of two special exhibits  at the Charles M. Bair Family Museum in Martinsdale this summer. The exhibit includes Navajo, Persian, and Turkish rugs from the museum’s collection. Wars, famine, plague, changes in transportation, and many other human events and inventions have interrupted, changed, or adapted the art of weaving since the Paleolithic Period. Some of the world’s earliest surviving weavings date to 5000 B.C. excavated from Egypt’s Fayum Basin. Egyptians were weaving in wool in 2000 B.C., and many scholars believe that Oriental rugs existed before the Pyramids or the palaces of Babylon were built. In addition to wool and cotton, some of the earliest materials included anything at hand that could be woven—flax, hemp, plant fibers, twigs, feathers, and hair. While the Industrial Revolution saw the invention of machines that could weave fabric and rugs faster and cheaper, the art of weaving by hand has continued and flourished. Today’s weavers continue to find inspiration in the oldest examples of woven fabric and rugs. The exhibit runs from May 24 to October 31, 2019.