TRAVELING EXHIBITION: Traditional Arts of the Bedouin


For many, the word Bedouin stirs up vivid images of shifting sands, colorful flowing robes, and the long, loping strides of a camel. The way in which the Bedouins learned to adapt advantageously to an environment as inhospitable as the desert is a marvel of anthropological and artistic ingenuity. Drawn from the Nance Collection—the largest collection of its kind outside the Middle East—Traditional Arts of the Bedouin introduces visitors to a rich material culture from Saudi Arabia and nearby Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Syria, and Yemen.  The essence of Bedouin culture is understood through its impermanence —with constant movement across the sands of both time and space. Visitors to the exhibition will learn how Bedouin arts and crafts frequently bridge the gap between aesthetic and utilitarian purposes, as well as recognize the unique tenacity of Bedouin traditions in an ever- changing political, social, and environmental landscape.  The exhibition includes approximately fifty-three artworks and artifacts, from elaborately embroidered textiles and embellished metalwork to ceremonial coffee accouterments and incense burners; as well as several photographs depicting Bedouin craftspersons at work.


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Curator and organizing institution: 
Amber R. Clifford-Napoleone, Ph.D.; Director, McClure Archives and University Museum, University of Central Missouri, USA.

Exhibition sponsors: Mid-America Arts Alliance and ExhibitsUSA

Number of works: 53 mounted artifacts including textiles, household items, and jewelry, accompanied by text panels and photographs.  Exhibition includes educational programming and learning stations for K-12 visitors.

Venues and availability: See website for schedule and availability:

Running/square feet: Flexible, approximately 175-250/1,500-2,000.

Security: High

Fee: Out-of-Region Rental Fee $6,800  In-Region Rental Fee $3,400 for venues hosting before July 1, 2017; $4,080 for venues hosting after July 1, 2017

Shipping/insurance requirements: Incoming and outgoing fine art shipping, along with wall-to-wall insurance

Printable Flyer: Available

For more information contact:  Contact Mid-America Arts Alliance via the website ( or contact the Curator, Dr. Clifford-Napoleone, via email (

Categories: Traveling Exhibitions