TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  Summary
Author  :  R. John Howe
Date  :  06-17-2000 on 06:51 a.m.
Dear folks - This salon had two main purposes. The first was to rectify a bit, the regretful situation that occurs when Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning programs at Washington's Textile Museum include direct access to materials in the Museum collections: namely, that very often they are seen by only the number of folks who can fit into Mr. Myers' former living room (about 75). This is particulary unfortunate since Museum materials are seen in Rug Morning sessions much less frequently than they were formerly and very often the pieces shown have not been exhibited for many years and may not predictably be seen again in the near future. I have argued that the TM does not get sufficient mileage out of its very useful, and entirely free, Rug Morning programs and that since they now have a web site, there is the technological opportunity to share these sessions and materials with a much larger audience. So this salon was first, a kind of demonstration of what could be done. (Since they have the slides on most of these pieces they could actually do it quite a bit better and we are actively conspiring to help them do something additional in this particular case.) Second, the momentary concentration here in Washington, at the moment, of quite a bit of Ottoman material made it seem appropriate to examine the textiles produced in a regime that enjoyed uninterrupted rule for 600 years. The desire of the Ottoman sultans to create for themselves god-like personas, the centralized character of Ottoman organizatonal modes and the proclivities of the Ottoman bureaucrats with regard to recordkeeping, combine to provide a rich harvest of textiles and of records. Daniel, was particularly helpful in this salon and in truth provided much of the useful detail, mining a book he has on the textiles we presented. Among the things I learned were: how complex some of these structures were; that the designs on some of these opulent textiles did sometimes get transferred to rugs; the liklihood that the Ottowman sultans frequently over-ate, since many of these caftans are remarkably large; and that the word that the author of Daniel's book offered as "cintamani," is presented by most other references as "chintamani," this later spelling signaling more literally the correct pronounciation. I want to thank those who offered their thoughts in a salon focused on materials with which most of us are not well acquainted. Regards, R. John Howe

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