11th century Seljuk Carpet Fragment, 55x46cm, one of several extant from the same carpet. Kirchheim "Orient Stars" Collection.
Another exhibition of Orient Stars, augmented by Kirchheim's most recent acquisitions, is staged at Schloss Rheydt and will be on view until November 12. The castle is located near Krefeld, a city in Germany's Rhineland once famous for its silk and velvet mills. Anyone who missed the opportunity to view Orient Stars in Hamburg, or elsewhere, should make a special effort to see all of the collection's pre-1600 rugs and fragments, many Kirchheim's recent purchases, as well as complete, later pieces especially those Caucasian rugs from the 18th and 19th century, collected "because the general public places too much emphasis on fragments." The Seljuk fragments will share space in a separate room with the "Pregnant Lion" carpet from Eskenazi, the "Faces Carpet" from Herrmann, and the Potala Palace fragment.
Winston on Serab. Winston, a white kitty (very late 20th c.) sprawls on a Serab rug, c. early 20th c., subjects courtesy of proud owners, Mark Kambourian and Diana Cherry of Richmond, VA.
Stocker, whose work was featured in an accompanying interview by Mark Hopkins in the October/November 1994 issue of this journal, is a former teacher and antique dealer who devotes himself full time to painting. "My interest in 18th century English and American painted floor coverings, or floorcloths, inevitably converged with my love for oriental rugs and led to the challenge of translating them to painted canvas," Stocker explained. "By presenting them in their entirety, in the original size, and as the sole object of the painting, I intend to show that both painter and weaver make similar decisions in the creative process."
To create rug floorcloths, Stocker begins by using heavy canvas which he has coated with gesso, then stretched on a frame. Next he carefully reproduces in acrylics rugs illustrated in the literature to true scale. After being urethaned, the rug paintings are removed from the stretcher and are flexible and durable. Many of Stocker's works exist as conventional paintings rather than floorcloths.
"It's sad to say," Stocker told interviewer Hopkins, "but in general people don't think of oriental rugs as being art. Art to them is paintings, sculpture, those sorts of things, while rugs are just pieces of furniture that you walk on... But, suddenly, they see the rug in a painting and right away they know how to look at it. It's one of the most exciting things about doing these paintings."
The conference runs from Thursday evening, January 25th, through mid-day Sunday, January 28th, 1996, at the Guest Quarters, an all-suites hotel. Every suite has a sitting room and separate bedroom, and there are also a few connecting suites. For Dealers' Row, we're reserving the rooms that surround the central atrium on three floors -- you can just look out across the atrium space and see who's on the other side, so there will be equal accessibility and visibility for all participants. And each room has a large window facing the hallway that encircles the atrium, so you will be able to advertise your pieces easily and safely. The conference format will be similar to the first two ACORs -- focus sessions, receptions, opportunities to meet and greet rug people and to handle rugs. Once again, we will offer dealers a focused audience in a relaxed, comfortable hotel venue at very reasonable rates. Since you'll be exhibiting from your room, you can set your own schedule and arrange your display as you wish. And, as at ACOR II, participation on Dealers' Row will be limited. So put the date on your calendar, and expect to hear from us again in the early fall.
Charles Lave and Bethany Mendenhall of Irvine, California, are spearheading Dealers Row.
19th century Baluch rug, Torbat e Heydariyeh, Khorasan, Iran. Collection of Colonel Jeff W. Boucher
"Baluch Rugs from the Boucher Collection" spotlights the beauty of a particular kind of tribal weaving. Little is known about the origins of the people who made these rugs due to their migratory existence and their non-literate culture. Tribal and village weavings made by different tribes and sub-tribes from the Khorasan region -- northeastern Iran and northwestern Afghanistan -- have been bought and sold as "Baluch" over the years. Some of these weavings may have been made by Baluch people who live further south and are known for weaving only non-pile products. Most, however, were probably made by other tribal groups in this area who, when forced to move into Baluch-controlled territory, aligned themselves with the Baluch people, intermarried, and began to identify themselves as Baluch. The most distinguishing characteristic of Baluch rugs is their color palette. Baluch rugs are usually woven with blue, red, brown, and black wool highlighted with small amounts of ivory, for dramatic accents. Woven under primitive conditions on horizontal looms, Baluch rugs are generally small ranging in size from two by three feet to five by nine feet. Baluch rugs have never been exported in great numbers.
Today, Baluch rugs are among the most sought after by collectors. One reason for this dramatic rise in appreciation is the dedication of one collector, Colonel Jeff W. Boucher.
Boucher, a long-time member of The Textile Museum, focused his collecting interest on Baluch rugs in the 1970s and pioneered a collection over the next 20 years until his death in 1994.
The beauty of Baluch weaving probably first attracted Colonel Boucher. However, his fascination with these rugs grew as he realized that advancing civilization, improved transportation, and increasing commercialism were permanently changing the rugs and the people who wove them.
Colonel Jeff Boucher was one of the first collectors to be captivated by the beauty of the weavings marketed under the umbrella trade name Baluch. He was a leader in collecting, promoting, and exhibiting "Baluch" rugs as an art form and a weaving tradition in its own right.
"Baluch Rugs from the Boucher Collection" illustrates the diversity of weaving called Baluch and demonstrates the artistry possible with the fine weaving, saturated color, and remarkable wool which intrigued Colonel Boucher. The Textile Museum's 19th Annual Rug Convention, October 13-15, 1995, focuses on tribal rugs. Specific attention will be paid to two issues in the rug field: 1) multiple understandings of the word "tribal", especially as exemplified in Fars Province, Iran, with its many "tribes" and their modes of organizing rug production; 2) the complex origins of groups currently associated with the rug term "Baluch." For more information and to register, call Rebecca Kasemeyer, 202-667-0441, x12.
Each woman was a co-curator of an award-winning exhibition in the Curators' Committee Seventh Annual Exhibit Competition of the American Association of Museums, bringing honors to their museums as well: Ms. Myers for the exhibition "From the Land of the Thunder Dragon: Textile Arts of Bhutan," which originated at The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, and then traveled to The Textile Museum; Ms. Carmel for "Rugs and Textiles of Late Imperial China," originating at The Textile Museum. Both shows lend their themes to specialized travel in the two countries.
The trip to Bhutan will depart from San Francisco via Bangkok to Paro for visits to weavers, dyers, museum and private textile collections in Thimphu, Tongsa, the Bumthang Valley and Ganteng Gompa. Dr. Mattiebelle Gittinger, Research Associate, Southeast Asian Textiles, will be the TM Representative. The price is $4,325 per person, double occupancy, plus air from the United States. For more information, contact Geographic Travel, 2627 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94123, or telephone 800-666-1288.
TM travelers to China will spend two days in Shanghai, four and half days in the silk cities of Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou, five days in Beijing visiting special collections with scholars, one day in Chengdu to view costumes in the Manchu summer retreat, and two days in Hong Kong seeing private collections and antiques dealers. Don Cohn will be the Study Leader. Cohn, an American author, historian, textile collector, is fluent in Mandarin and has lived in Beijing and Hong Kong for 19 years. This tour is priced at $5,285 per person, double occupancy, plus air from the United States. For more information, contact Experience Abroad, Inc., 6014 Namakagan Road, Bethesda, MD 20816 or phone 301-229-2899.
Neon Maze by Ellen Oppenheimer, 48"x50", silk-screened and hand-dyed fabric, some over-dyed commercial prints. Machine pieced and hand quilted.
Michael Monroe, guest curator and former Curator-in-Charge of the Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, selected the quilts in this exhibition from the Quilt National collection. Over 1,100 entries by 560 artists from 44 states and 13 foreign countries were submitted to Quilt National, a juried competition created to promote contemporary quilting as an art form.
Exploring the quilt as an artistic medium is the predominate force in quiltmaking today. Contemporary quilt artists, designing for a vertical surface, are freed from the sizes, shapes, and repeated or related small-scale elements that mark historical quilts. Although traditional patterns continue to provide inspiration for some quilters, the majority of the quilts in this presentation are more likely to have been inspired by contemporary visual art forms including painting, video, film, photography and computer-generated images. Artists are employing diverse techniques and materials such as ribbons, plastics, metals, silkscreen printing, lithography, Xerox transfer, Cibachrome photographs, spray paints, buttons, and glass beads making their creations a radical departure from traditional bed covers. The key element is content. The artists have drawn from their own inspirations: Rodney King and the riots in Los Angeles, environmental concerns vs. logging interests in the spotted owl controversy, terrorism, analyses of color and geometric pattern, storytelling, and poetry. The works in the exhibition have the impact that comes only from the marriage of an artist's unique vision, technical mastery and sensitivity to design.
"Quilt National: Innovation & Impact" closes March 3, 1996. For more information, contact Maury Sullivan, Public Information Manager at 202-667-0441, x42.
Tiwanaku Knotted and Looped Hat, Chile, c. 375-500 A.D., James Blackmon Gallery
For more than nine years, the husband-and-wife fair producers, Bill Caskey and Elizabeth Lees, have organized tribal and folk art shows in Los Angeles and San Francisco, attracting some of the leading international dealers and collectors of this specialized material. Last fall, Caskey-Lees launched their first Chicago tribal and folk art fair, The American Indian and Tribal Art Show, at the downtown Hyatt.
The Caskey-Lees team are producing their first New York fair with Frank Farbenbloom, a veteran antique dealer who has produced successful East Coast antique shows since 1978 such as the D.C. Antiques Fair, Baltimore Summer Antiques Fair, D.C. American Classic, Antiquarian Book Fair, and Greater Philadelphia Antiques Fair. The partners expect "World Art: The Tribal & Folk Art Show" in New York to have a balanced representation of outstanding dealers from the West Coast and Europe with an abundance of rare merchandise new to the East Coast market. The New York venue is the 26th Street Armory in Gramercy Park at 68 Lexington Avenue. Among the galleries and private dealers planning to exhibit their exotic wares in New York are Paul Hughes and Kevin Conru of London; James Blackmon Gallery and Arte Textil of San Francisco; Maison du Tapis d'Orient of Istanbul, Turkey; Martha Hopkins Struever and David Cook of Denver; Andrew Smith Gallery and William Siegal of Santa Fe; Joel Cooner of Dallas; Yunus Gallery of Orlando; Charles Jones African Art of Wilmington, North Carolina; Second Phase Gallery of Taos, New Mexico; Soo Tze Oriental Antiques of Melbourne, Australia; Eric Robertson, Tambaran Gallery, Eleanor Abraham, and David Lantz of New York; and Donald Ellis and Peter Baker of Canada.
"The dealers and patrons of our West Coast shows have been trying to encourage us to host similar events on the East Coast for years," says Bill Caskey, whose firm also stages the renown L.A. Modernism Show and San Francisco USArt Show. "Since about one fifth of the dealers participating in each of our Asian, tribal and folk art shows are from the East Coast, and there are currently no other high-quality international shows like ours in New York, it seemed like a prime opportunity. With Frank Farbenbloom's interest, it became a reality."
The Caskey-Lees trademark is special focus art shows that feature broad price levels ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars for museum quality artifacts to less than a hundred dollars for other culturally significant objects. To compete successfully in New York, however, Caskey-Lees and Farbenbloom will primarily feature rare and valuable art and antiques to attract serious collectors and curators.
On the weekend of November 19, 75 top international tribal and folk art dealers from the Americas and Europe will gather at Chicago's Navy Pier for the second international fair produced in Chicago by Caskey-Lees. The three-day vetted fair will exhibit for sale thousands of exotic tribal and folk objects created prior to 1950 (the decade commercial production began to erode native arts) by the world's numerous native cultures. Collectors can take a "trip around the world" while viewing significant works such as African sculptures, Indian stone statues, pre-Columbian textiles, South Pacific masks, American Indian pottery, Southeast Asian furniture, Turkoman embroideries, Chinese bronzes and South American folk art. Given its equal proximity to both California and New York, the Chicago fair expects to have an equal representation of art and antiques dealers from both coasts, as well as Europe. Providing spectators with a weekend collecting adventure are James Blackmon Gallery and Art Textil of San Francisco; Maison du Tapis d'Orient of Istanbul, Turkey; Tambaran Gallery, David Bernstein and Chinalai Tribal Antiques of New York; Paul Hughes and Kevin Conru of London; Martha Hopkins Struever of Denver; North African Berber of Leopoldsburg, Belgium; William Siegal Fine Tribal Textiles and Economos Works of Art of Santa Fe; Yunus Gallery of Orlando; Thomas Murray of Mill Valley, California; Thomas Caruso of Belmont, Massachusetts; Donald Ellis of Canada, and Second Phase Gallery of Taos, New Mexico.
Collectors interested in antique textiles should view the extremely rare merchandise at James Blackmon's booth. The San Francisco dealer has acquired one of only 18 known examples of an antique Turkoman wedding trapping, asmalyk, from 1800. Sigmund Freud had used a similar piece to upholster a chair, which is exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. One of the best examples from the Tekke tribe in West Turkestan, the asmalyk is priced at $115,000. Also notable dealer, William Siegal, will offer an extraordinary South Coast Peruvian textile, a checkerboard Nazca shirt (c. 300-500 A.D.) for $50,000. At a lower price level, Yunus Gallery will bring 18th century Kaitag embroidered panels from Daghestan, Russia, with dragon and simurgh silk designs for $10,000. Even more affordable is the Orlando gallery's new-to-the-market 19th century Uzbek Lakai embroideries, which range in price from $1,700 to $3,250.
Collectors can also find important American Indian works, such as 19th century Zuni Pueblo vessels originally collected for the Smithsonian Institution, and now offered by Denver dealer Martha Struever. Economos Works of Art will feature a Sioux beaded war shirt and leggings, formerly in a museum collection; the impeccable Plains Indian set costs $45,000. The Santa Fe gallery will also offer a strong collection of 19th century Northwest Coast masks, rattles, potlatch dishes and hats, specifically from the little known Tlingit and Haida tribes. Most rare is a Tlingit chief's clan hat made from carved cedar in the shape of a raven, with its original Chinese vermilion paint, for $45,000.
Chinalai Tribal Antiques will exhibit a Yao shaman's hat woven of human hair; the 19th century headpiece from Thailand was required dress for a shaman to validate ceremonies.
Dealers predict some new collecting trends that will manifest at "Native Cultures: The Tribal & Folk Art Show." Experts say that pre-Columbian baskets, Andean and Laotian textiles, American Indian masks, Spanish Colonial religious artifacts, and Oceanic clubs will be popular in 1995. "Native Cultures: The Tribal & Folk Art Show" is located at Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue, on Chicago's lakefront. A $35 collector's preview is scheduled Friday, November 19, from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Show hours are Saturday, November 20, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, November 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Daily admission is $8, while a weekend pass is $12. Call Caskey-Lees at 310-455-2886 for more information.
"Flowering Silks" is dedicated to the memory of the first curator of the Department of Textiles, Mildred L. Davison (1901-1995). Miss Davison joined the Department of Decorative Arts in 1923 and, in 1944, she was promoted to associate curator of textiles, a title she would keep until 1960, when she became the first curator of the Department of Textiles, founded the following year. She built an important collection for the Art Institute and she was the author of many articles in Art Institute publications, especially the 1969 issue of Museum Studies, which carried her essay on the museum's embroidered altar from Burgo de Osma. In 1968, she retired and became a member of the Textile Advisory Committee. In addition to the 19 works she acquired that are featured in this exhibition, four acquisitions made after her retirement carry her name as donor; these pieces have become anchors upon which the collection continues to build.
Silk was first brought to Europe from China in the third century B.C. Importation flourished during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in both Italy and Spain. The merchant class strictly controlled the importation of the raw silk, oversaw its washing and reeling, negotiated its dyeing and weaving, and controlled its selling and exportation. Italy's leadership in the field continued into the 17th century; thereafter, the leadership gradually shifted to France.