Re: "Really Learning"

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Posted by R. John Howe on March 04, 1999 at 05:28:26:

In Reply to: Re: Color, Color, Color posted by Michael Wendorf on March 02, 1999 at 09:42:37:

Dear Michael et al -

You wrote in part:

"The handle of a rug-part of wool quality but also things like its back- is critical. I cannot conceive of really learning about old rugs without having them in your hands."

My thought:

Let me pick on what's likely just a momentary expression and probably not what you mean at bottom.

While I agree that important things are given up when we can't handle pieces or view their colors in natural light, and while I don't know what you would count as "real learning," I don't think I would go as far as your statement suggests.

Perhaps the most important reason why I spend the time I do on this site is that I do see it as an opportunity for real learning.

And as to the back of a piece, Daniel has just demonstrated that with the magnification capabilities of the machine we can sometimes see on the screen things about the back of a piece that would be difficult to see if you had it on your lap.

So I think it's a good deal more mixed. Yes, there are real limitations. And we don't yet have the wealth of experience that we need reflected in these conversations. But the fact the someone who's been looking at rugs for perhaps 40 years, as Harold Keshishian has, tunes in on our conversations regularly, precisely to see if there might be something more to be learned, suggests that some of us do not see the limitations we face on the Net as preventing real and important learning.

And I'll bet that's why you're here too.


R. John Howe

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