Posted by R. John Howe on May 12, 1999 at 22:40:33:
In Reply to: Re: BOOKS (all kinds): Mostly Accurate Now or Frequently in Error Yet? posted by Steve Price on May 12, 1999 at 17:35:40:
Dear Steve et al -
At one point here, you've put my question (in its extreme form) better than I could. Is the information in rug books generally good enough that we are in fact advancing our accurate knowledge as we use them or is it bad enough that we could still be learning lots of things that are to our detriment? Could we actually be "losing ground," so to speak, through our work with rug books?
Jim FFrench, who used to be at Christie's in NYC, once spoke at the TM, arguing a similar point: that we've been socialized into a particular color palette that we use to recognize likely synthetic dyes and that this palette in fact includes shades that can be produced with vegetal dyes. He demonstrated with a Turkish piece that had seeming "bad dyes" that were the same shades as those in another piece which had been chemically tested and shown to be vegetal. We had, he claimed convincingly, been incorrectly socialized on this recognition and need to be recalibrated.
My question is how much of what we still read in rug books is in fact a species of such "convention," to use a Robert Pinner word?
I worry a little despite obvious serious work that is going on and coming out.
R. John Howe
Post a Followup