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Old December 16th, 2010, 04:30 PM   #2
Wendel Swan
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Hello Yaser,

You have made a very important point about the process of learning about oriental rugs and textiles. As the books have become more and more specialized, we have lost all sense of the cultural, historical and aesthetic contexts of the textiles we study.

I have long advocated that rugs and textiles should be viewed as Islamic art. (I use that term somewhat loosely since many of our textile traditions pre-date the founding of Islam.) Rug and textile enthusiasts should acquire one or two books on Islamic art among the first dozen books that they buy. Several general volumes are available in paperback at very reasonable prices and there are good catalogs from exhibitions of Islamic art.

Some rug and textile books are good at relating the history and customs of the weavers, but I can't recall seeing even one that seriously compares rug and textile designs with what can be found in architecture, ceramics, metal work, Koran covers, glass and other media. As a result, rug collectors tend to be myopic in their views of rugs and textiles.

Wendel Swan
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