The textiles of Lombok, Indonesia: surprising revelations over the past 50 years
The material culture of the Sasak of Lombok, nearest neighbour to Bali, was not well represented in the old colonial collections. And relatively few photographs taken in Lombok from that era depicted the activities of members of Sasak society. However, since the late 1960s renewed interest in the beauty and social importance of cloth across the wider Indonesian archipelago has gradually revealed the richness, variety and long history of Sasak ritual textiles.
Robyn Maxwell was formerly Senior Curator of Asian Art at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra and Senior Lecturer in Art History and Curatorship in the Faculty of Arts at The Australian National University, Canberra. She has researched, lectured, published and curated exhibitions on Asian art, especially Indonesian textiles, for nearly 50 years. She is best known for Textiles of Southeast Asia: tradition, trade and transformation, originally published in 1990 to coincide with a major exhibition drawn from the NGA’s extensive Asian textile collections. She recently wrote the introduction to the Lombok textiles included in Textiles of Indonesia: The Thomas Murray collection, London, Prestel, 2021.