Imagined East: Decorative Arts and the Imperial Gaze
Visitors to the Henry Plant Museum marvel at the building’s Moorish-inspired architecture and the fantastic collection of orientalist décor housed inside. Imagined East: Decorative Arts and the Imperial Gaze will explore the roots of Orientalism, its appeal and significance as a decorative style, and the cultural impact of this movement. The exhibit will feature original artifacts from the Tampa Bay Hotel as well as loans from public institutions and private collectors. Objects on display will include sculptures, pottery, paintings, prints, furniture and more.
Orientalist art and décor swept through the Western world in the late 19th century. Beautiful objects from, or inspired by, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia were brought together in the homes of wealthy collectors to signify that one was both well-traveled and well-educated. The influence of this movement can be seen throughout the Tampa Bay Hotel. Visitors to this exhibit will learn how international trade created this movement and how Orientalism shaped the way that cultures viewed themselves and each other.