Dust & Silk
Steppe and Silk Roads
Weltmuseum Wien, Vienna, AT
16.12.2021 - 03.05.2022


Poster image, designed by Johannes Heuer © KHM-Museumsverban

The exhibition Dust & Silk. Steppe and Silk Roads takes visitors on a fascinating journey through the past and the present, exploring connections between these historical routes and the “New Silk Road”.

Silk textiles and ikat fabrics, tea, and “wild apples” made their way to Europe along these legendary historical trade routes, which also Marco Polo to travel across Asia. Nevertheless, there has never been such a thing as the Silk Road. Neither today nor in the past does it concern only one road or silk as the singular good. Rather, it was and is a loose, changing network of routes by land and sea that connects China with Europe and other parts of the world.

The term “Silk Road” was coined by German geographer and cartographer Ferdinand von Richthofen in 1877. Not only silk but also tea, gold, jade, china and horses were transported on paths through the steppe and deserts between Asia and Europe. In addition, also weapons, musical instruments, Golden Peaches, “wild apples” and spices as well as ideas, religions, art, dreams, knowledge, diseases, conflicts and dust were in motion.


Read more in the Press Release:

Carpet, Anonymous, Khotan, Xinjiang, China, 1889 or earlier, Silk, Josef Troll Collection, Weltmuseum Wien VO 38203 © KHM-Museumsverband


Detail of a carpet, Khotan, China, 1889 or earlier © KHM-Museumsverband

Exhibition view © KHM-Museumsverband

Exhibition view © KHM-Museumsverband

Weltmuseum Wien
1010 Vienna, Austria
+43 1 534 30-5052

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