This online gallery serves as an accompaniment to the corresponding Silk Road tour offered at the MFA. Art works in this lesson will illustrate the overland trade route known at the Silk Road from the Far East to Europe which flourished from approximately 1500 BCE to 1600 CE.
Description: This lesson is designed to accompany the MFA's Silk Road guided tour, which illustrates the overland trade route known as the Silk Road from the Far East to Europe which flourished from approximately 1500 BCE to 1600 CE. Students will examine objects in the MFA’s collections which reflect the wide variety of people, animals, goods, artistic styles, technology, cultures and religious beliefs that were traveled, traded, adapted or transformed during the years when the Silk Road was at its zenith. They will see examples of ceramics, sculptures, and decorative arts that are representative of the goods that have been traded, and transformed across this vast route. This tour is recommended for students in grades 4 and up studying Geography, World History and cultures of ancient civilizations.
Learning Goals: Through this lesson, students will discover/understand:
- The central role of travel on visual art, spiritual experiences and political impact along the Silk Road
- The role of trade on goods and its resulting influence on artistic styles, and technologies that spread across cultures from East to West and West to East
- The role of adaptation and transformation of ideas, religious beliefs, and artistic styles that occurred along the Silk Road
- Students will be introduced to and practice the skills of: close looking and observation, expressing their ideas, and supporting their ideas by grounding them in a work of art.
Using this Resource: This lesson is recommended for students studying the history and culture of the Silk Road. For sample related classroom activities, download the PDFs available under Related Resources. The objects in this lesson are just a beginning. We encourage you to explore the Museum's online collection through this web resource—or even better, to visit the Museum and walk through the physical galleries—to look for other objects that will provide further insights into the Silk Road.