The Silk Road Through Art

Grades: 5-12
Tour length: 1.5 hours
Location: 900 S Beretania Street
Days: Tuesdays–Fridays
Times: 9 + 10:30am
Group Size: 60 maximum
Fee: FREE  
Request this tour: Fall 2015 | Spring 2016

​Help your students prepare for the tour in two ways: Have an interactive discussion about museum etiquette. ​Practice looking at art. Click here for more information.​ 


Step away from the textbook and bring history to life with The Silk Road Tour. On this diverse tour students will closely examine art and artifacts from Europe, Central Asia, and Asia to learn how goods, technologies, religions, and ideas were traded. Students will role play as they discover who traveled the Silk Road and why travelers made this dangerous journey. The Museum’s collection of Silk Road treasures include exotic textiles, ceramics, jade, stone sculptures and sacred cave paintings that tell a long story of cultural exchange. By looking at diverse artifacts like carpets, architectural details, furniture and luxury objects, students will understand the route that radically changed the ancient world.

Artwork on this tour:

​Pair of Doors (detail), Iran, early 20th century, Wood, pigments, varnish,metal hardware, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, 64,32,a-b​

​Fragments from a Mihrab, Iranm Kashan, Late 13th or early 14th century, Glazed stone paste, underglaze-painted, overglaze-painted luster, Wilhelmina Tenney, Memorial Collection, Gift of Renee Halbedi, 1960, (2611.1a-b)​

​Seated Buddha. Ghandaran, from Taxila or Swat, Pakistan. 2nd-3rd century AD. Grey schist. Gift of Cobey Black in memory of Brigadier General Edwin F. Black, 1986 (5491.1)​

Connecting to Standards

General Learner Outcomes

GLO #1: Self-directed Learner (The ability to be responsible for one's own learning)
GLO #2: Community Contributor (The understanding that it is essential for human beings to work together)
GLO #3: Complex Thinker (The ability to demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving)
GLO #5: Effective Communicator (The ability to communicate effectively)

K-12.CCRA.R.7: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

SS.6.3.4: Describe the key figures and major beliefs of the major religious and philosophical traditions of ancient and classical times, including Judaism, Confucianism, Daoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek philosophy, Christianity, and Islam

SS.6.3.6: Describe the trade networks, including the Silk Road and Saharan caravan trade; conflicts, including the Crusades and Mongol conquests; communications; and exchanges, including Chinese inventions and the bubonic plague, that linked the post-classical societies

SS.11.3.1:  Examine the relationship between cultural traditions and the larger societies in the cases of Confucianism in China, Buddhism in Asia, Christianity in Europe, Hinduism in India, and Islam in the Muslim world

SS.11.3.2: Examine the effects of global interactions in pre-modern times including the Mongol conquests, the Crusades, and technological, biological, and commercial exchanges

SS.AS.2.1: Explain how trade networks of central and southeast Asian societies facilitated cultural and commercial communications and exchanges (eg, through the Silk Road, the Indian Ocean, the China Seas)

FA.6-8.1.7: Compare the characteristics of artwork from various historical periods and/or cultures

FA.6-8.1.8: Analyze, using evidence, how cultural factors have affected works of art now and in the past

FA.9-12.1.3: Analyze, using evidence, the relationship between themes explored in the visual arts and those explored in other content areas

FA.9-12.1.7: Analyze common characteristics of works of art and artifacts across time periods and among cultural groups to identify influences

Return to guided school tours.