Re: visual arts - rugs and icons

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Posted by Michael Wendorf on May 24, 1999 at 14:20:43:

In Reply to: Re: visual arts - rugs and icons posted by Patrick Weiler on May 23, 1999 at 21:29:27:

: The rise of folk art generally has helped to raise acceptance of some rugs
: : and more exhibitions would help, but on the whole it is my impression that a wide gulf remains and may, in fact,
: : be widening.
: : Kindest regards, Michael Wendorf

: Michael,

: You may be right about the gulf widening.
: It may be that the increase in rug literature means that to have a reasonable understanding of rugs one must now study a lot more than before.
: This widens the gap that already existed between rug experts and novices. This, in turn, may engender a sense of hopelesness in anyone beginning to experience an interest in rugs.

: Patrick Weiler

Dear Patrick:
You may be correct that the gap that exists between so-called experts and novices has grown due to the recent increase in rug literature. However, the gap I was referring to is the gap between rug people who view and advance the theory that rugs constitute art and people who otherwise consider themselves to appreciate art but ave no understanding of or appreciation for rugs and carpets as anything other than perhaps decoration.
Your view on the gap between expert and novice seems to me to be the glass is half empty approach. The half full approach is that the relative easy availability of so many books makes it easier for the dedicated novice to play catch up. As recently as 20-25 years ago there were only a hand full of books and no publications like Hali. Learning to separate the wheat from the chaff took a lot more leg work.
Perhaps the gap between novice and experienced (as opposed to expert?) is more financial. As good rugs have increased in value, the cost of mistakes goes up and is a barrier to an initial interest. Yet similar changes have occurred more dramatically with paintings and Americana to name but two examples without a resulting gap. New collectors continue to join the fray and make great contributions in those areas. Perhaps the real issue is maturity of market and that those books and publications you see as widening the gulf are not helpful or motivational enough?
Regards, Michael

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