TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  11-12-2001 on 04:09 a.m.
Hi Jerry,

One matter that comes up from time to time is whether an exhibition ought to be restricted to "fresh material" - that is, stuff that hasn't previously been published. I've heard both points of view on this, and have never arrived at a very satisfactory conclusion about it myself beyond the notion that there are a few truly outstanding pieces that could be shown at every exhibition and I'd be glad to see them every time.

How will your committee handle that - since you will be the dominant personality in the group, they will surely do it whatever way you tell them to.


Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  11-12-2001 on 09:35 a.m.
How perceptive of you, Steve.

Yes, indeedy, the issue of fresh material has come up.

For the moment we are taking a non-absolutist posture. While we would prefer to take only pieces that have not been exhibited or published elsewhere, those which have can still be considered.

There's an exceptional Kurdish horse blanket that is available...but it is currently in an exhibition and already was in the ACOR II exhibition. It's the best I've ever seen. And everyone who attends the current exhibition or the ACOR II exhibition or read the catalog of the ACOR II exhibition has seen it. But when you think about it, the piece would still be "new" to those who haven't yet seen it. And that might be 50% or more of the audience.


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Michael Wendorf mailto:%20wendorfm@mediaone.net
Date  :  11-12-2001 on 11:01 a.m.

I agree that being fresh is not a criterion that should be insisted upon. However, I doubt whether the Isberian horse blanket/cover would be new to 50% of the viewers. I think it would be new to virtually no one who has any interest in the type or in Kurdish or Persian weaving generally. In addition to your references, if memory serves, it was also in the "Discoveries" exhibition. In any event, it is hard for me to think that with all the material available that a piece, whatever its merits, that has been exhibited as often and as long as this piece deserves a place in your exhibition. Besides that, how does it fit into what you otherwise are doing?

Best, Michael

Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Wendel Swan mailto:%20wdswan@erols.com
Date  :  11-12-2001 on 12:02 p.m.
Dear Michael, Jerry and all,

Michael, I seriously doubt that anything close to 50% of the ACOR participants would have seen (or, perhaps more important, would remember AS THEY SHOULD) Mike Isberian’s horse cover. I first saw it at Northwestern at the Discoveries exhibition, then at Isberian’s house, then at ACOR in Chicago and now again this past weekend at Minasian’s in Evanston. That’s about 4 times in roughly 18 years. But my connections to Chicago are atypical.

The percentage of ACOR registrants who are attending their first rug conference is pretty high. I seem to recall it being close to 50% in Burlingame. Few would have been at any of the public showings of the Isberian horse cover.

That being said, I agree with your analysis, Michael, and the need to develop a concept. My only advice, Jerry, would be to avoid the term “Ethnographic” again.

Determining whether a piece is fresh is a bit subjective, but I think there are a lot of fresh pieces, fresh topics and fresh approaches out there. There’s nothing wrong with a limited recirculation of exhibited material, especially when it fits into a new approach or idea.


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  11-12-2001 on 02:03 p.m.
Well, of course, Wendel, we wouldn't do "ethnographic" again. We resolved that issue for all time with the ACOR II exhibition!

As for the horse blanket, I was just using that as a familiar ferinstance. Freshness is a very variable concept. Fresh for one is stale for another. That's why TV networks run re-runs all summer. The episodes are new to those who haven't seen them. Besides, those without photographic memories may well have forgotten something they saw before and welcome the opportunity to see it again.

I stand resolutely by my ephemeral estimate of almost any piece being fresh to 50% of the audience.

Now about the question of a "theme" - maybe we're getting somewhere on that. What if the theme were a commentary on what is rare and beautiful at this point in time? This could be explored in an essay that accompanies the exhibition and would compare and contrast (as they used to require on college exams) this time with previous eras of collecting.



Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  patricia jansma mailto:%20p.jansma@chello.nl
Date  :  11-13-2001 on 03:43 p.m.
Dear Speakers,

I don't want to disturb your discussion, but I must admit I've gotten very curious about the above mentioned horse blanket... might one of you have a picture of it available?

Thankful regards,


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20theweilers@home.com
Date  :  11-13-2001 on 09:05 p.m.

I just today saw a photo of it in an exhibition book "Discoveries From Kurdish Looms" I think, held at the Minasian gallery in Evanston in 1983.
I do not own the book, but found a copy in a local college library. The horse blanket is everything Jerry has been talking about; bright, saturated colors, clear, striking striped design, rare and beautiful.

Support your local libraries,

Patrick Weiler

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Marvin Amstey mailto:%20mamstey1@rochester.rr.com
Date  :  11-13-2001 on 10:34 p.m.
Dear Patricia,
I put a link here to photos of the eshibit so kindly provided by Jerry Silverman. The link is also on his latest show-and-tell post. The horse blanket is the srtiped one in the photo of two blankets.
\ http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4292262727

If the url doesn't come up as a link, go to Jerry's post; the link works well there

Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Jerry Silverman mailto:%20rug_books@silvrmn.com
Date  :  11-13-2001 on 10:59 p.m.
I've taken the liberty of adding the pictures of individual pieces from the handout brochure that accompanied the exhibition.

They are in my album at

\ http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=4292262727

The horse blanket can be seen in splendid isolation if you go to image #15.



Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Michael Wendorf mailto:%20wendorfm@mediaone.net
Date  :  11-13-2001 on 11:38 p.m.
Patrica, Patrick and all:

The Isberian horse cover was exhibited, if memory serves, at the 1983 exhibition called Discoveries From Kurdish Looms. This exhibition was not at the Minasian Gallery, I do not thik it existed then. I recall it being at the Block gallery that is/was part of nearby Northwestern University in Evanston. The book of the same title documents the exhibition.

The horse cover also appears in Mideast meets Midwest, the publication of what I recall was the 2nd American Conference on Oriental Rugs (ACOR) which was likewise in Chicago in the mid 1990s.

The horse blanket now is exhibited at Minaisan's which is in Evanston.

This vertical striped design is also known in knotted pile weavings. The Massachusetts dealer John Collins had a fantastic large carpet of this design at the last ACOR near San Francisco. Other saddle blankets are known in both knotted pile and soumak. In my opinion, the Isberian example is among the best known based on color, scale and clarity of drawing and is also in very good condition.

I am not certain I would call the colors of this blanket deeply saturated. It is harder to have such deeply saturated colors in soumaks than in knotted pile - I think. But the colors are definiately good, clear and rich. It is also a little difficult to place this weaving in context or tradition. It is not the sort of thing the typical Kurd would throw over his horse. It was probably made for a wealthy person and rarely used, perhaps ceremonial. The design is not one I would associate with Kurds traditionally though certainly it was known and popular in the environs of Bijar in the late 19th century. It probably comes out of and was used more in an urban setting than anything we might think of as tribal.

Bijar weavings have long been associated with Kurds. However, it is not clear that this is always appropriate. At a minimum, Bijar lies well outside the Kurdish heartland.

I hope this might make it easier to find a reference or add to your enjoyment of the blanket.


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  patricia jansma mailto:%20p.jansma@chello.nl
Date  :  11-14-2001 on 03:00 p.m.
Thank you Jerry, Marvin, Michael and Patrick for posting the links and giving some additional information about the backround of this piece. I've looked at all the photo's of the exhibition on Jerry's site and was really impressed. It is nice to be able to see this on the internet as (being a Dutch European) the book or the exhibition aren't easy for me to check out personally.
What a breathtaking carpet! Its design looks so playful and 'just right': without need of extra frills. Like all real good quality art (I can't help it, to me this is art :)) it has a certain 'easy' air to it -- it looks as if it wasn't difficult to make/design for the person who made this.
The other Kurdish rug (number 12 in Jerry's photo exhibition) is also nice but, to me doesn't have this easiness.
I also want to add I like the way both carpets look as if the give you a look through a window... or am I getting too poetic now? A real treat seeing it after a long workday -- and it has gotten me interested in this type of rug (tomorrow I will check out my books and try to find out more about them).

Thanks a lot.


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Glenn Manser mailto:%20gmanser@iprimus.com.au
Date  :  11-16-2001 on 06:07 a.m.
Hi Patricia!

I think Michael is being too modest in not mentioning the Kurdish exhibition he organised in 1999. You can find it at:


While I didn't see it myself,I have heard it was something to behold.


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  Rudolf Hilbert mailto:%20rudolf.hilbert@t-online.de
Date  :  11-16-2001 on 01:58 p.m.
Hi Glenn,

thanks a lot for posting the link to the Kurdish exhibition.
It is fantastic to view such a lot of pictures of great rugs.

kind regards,


Subject  :  Re:What about the "fresh material" issue?
Author  :  patricia jansma mailto:%20p.jansma@chello.nl
Date  :  11-17-2001 on 06:14 a.m.
What a nice exhibition. And how great is the internet that we can all enjoy it (although from a distance). Unfortunately we don't have much (if any) exhibitions like this in The Netherlands - at least as far as I know.
But, I can't help it, having seen the beautyful saddlerug I'm spoiled forever...



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