Home > Rug, Kelim, Soumak, Textile Post Archive >Turkmen symposium in Leipzig
Wed, May 25th, 2011 03:35:41 AM
Topic: Turkmen symposium in Leipzig

For those of you who do not already know about the second "Symposium on the Textile Art of Central Asia" taking place in Leipzig, Germany later this year let us mention it; as well as the fact RK was the first researcher to initiate study of the specific "topic" the Leipzig symposium will endeavor to discuss.

There is, and should be, no doubt RK's ground-breaking study has set-up the parameters for such discussion and for a symposium on the topic, like that which will happen in Leipzig.

In typical fashion the rugDUMBERs who are putting on this event have once again ignored what RK does and says about Turkmen rugs, something which demonstrates their inability to give credit where credit is due and to pomp and circumstance themselves to the disregard of those who blaze the trail and more for them.

Let all remember RK's Weaving Art Museum presented an online exhibition:

Animals, Pearls and Flowers: Synthesis of Turkmen Iconography

dealing with this same topic more than two years ago and to date thousands of unique IP addresses, ie individual viewers, have seen and read it.

We also highly doubt those who are involved in the Leipzig event have not seen and read it as well.

Frankly, we are not perturbed or dismayed we have not been asked to contribute, or even attend, as most of those involved, like those at that rag hali, run scared at even the mention of our name.

We suggest all RugKazbah.com readers who have not already seen the Weaving Art Museum exhibition do so as there are many interesting photos and comments about the relationships between certain groups of early Silk-Road, Western Asian textiles and historic Turkmen rugs.

Here is the Url for the exhibition:


And below a list of most of the presenters and their presentations at the Leipzig event:

Program 2011

The Sogdians and their Influence on the Turkmen

Symposium on Central Asian Textile Art at the GRASSI"The Sogdians and their Influence on the Turkmen"Saturday, 14th May 2011 in Leipzig

10:30 AMThe sogdian Art of Central AsiaProf. Dr. Markus Mode, University Halle

11:30 AMPost-Sassanid Textiles of Central AsiaDr. Karel Otavsk, University of Prag (CZ)

3:00 PMThe Sogdian Heritage of Turkmen CarpetsJrg Rageth, Basel (CH)

4:00 PMTurkmen Weavings: Some Thoughts on their Vocabulary of OrnamentJon Thompson, Oxford (UK)

Author: jc
Wed, May 25th, 2011 03:35:41 AM

This year's Turkmen symposium is now over and we are sure, from the 75 plus pictures of it now posted on the internet, not much of substance happened.

Most of these photos show the Turkmen weavings that were displayed and frankly there was not one RK would want to put in our collection.

The best of them were textbook examples of Salor "S" group weaving, which as all RK readers know we believe are not really old, nor are they anything but workshoppe rugs made in the Turkmen style.

We need to once again clarify what we mean by workshoppe since we well recognize some of these weavings, and by the way not those on exhibit in Leipzig, are circa 1800 and perhaps the best of them a half a century or more earlier.

By using this term we are implying these weavings were made by (most probably) a certain group of weavers who were citified, and removed from the far more rural, village, transhumant clan and sometimes nomadic environments where other, far more genuine, Turkmen rugs were produced.

We have already a number of times cited the unnecessarily complex structure, at times lavish use of exotic materials and dye, as well as the unbelievably homogenous iconographic similarities all the various type of these weaving dislay and share.

In no other pre-commercial period group of Turkmen rugs does this appear and RK defies anyone to prove different, or attempt to successfully make a case to negate what we claim.

The weavings on exhibition in last year's symposium were way and above more interesting, earlier and important.

Since we were not allow to attend we cannot report any first-hand comments, however, we did speak to several knowledgeable people who did attend and they shares our view.

Also the 'lectures' presented were considered by those we spoke to as basic and surely not cutting any new cloth.

We would like to see the 'paper' jorge rageth, who we believe and have demonstrated is a barely functioning turko-illiterate and magpie, presented as it is on the same topic our Weaving Art Museum presentation ANIMALS, PEARLS AND FLOWERS: Synthesis of Turkmen Iconography debuted almost two years ago.

Turkmen weavings are presently the most sought-after type of non-classical oriental carpet, and perhaps even more so then they, and this sudden interest has not been without a commensurate amount of nonsense and ignorance.

One needs only to witness the absurdly over-priced auction of the WH engsi several days ago.

RK has been publicly touting the importance and history of Turkmen rugs for more than 25 years, and sadly in that time few if any of the numerous publications and exhibitions have been able to ascend through the glass ceiling that separates real research and scholarship from the generalist patter and classic comic-book style writing most of them demonstrate.

One thing is sure, there are some (few) very early, archaic period in our terms, Turkmen weavings worth the type of prices a few have lately achieved at auction.

And there are many later, boring, derivative, copies and wanna-be seen as early Turkmen weavings, like the WH engsi and for instance the ben fernandas Saryk engsi that recently graced the cover of that rag hali, that rugDUMB just can't see for what they are.

Identifying the earliest Turkmen rugs is a skill that's very difficult to learn and unfortunately, and regrettably, the symposia held in Leipzig, like most of the publication and exhibition mentioned above, have done little to facilitate.

This is something RK, as an interested buyer, is surely not upset about. However, we have a large interest at stake here and that is to see the Turkmen rug, and other non-classical weavings, held in the same regard and light as those classical carpets produced in the court of the Ottoman and Safavid dynasties.

It is only complete ignorance of history and prejudice of social environments that pretends these court rugs, and their royal associations, are better, and yes more important, than the rugs which were their indirect source, and in all probability at times their original source.

For these and many other reasons, not the least of which was the refusal of the organizers of the Leipzig symposium to allow somelike like RK to attend because we are not going to applaud for and nod our head in agreeement with more say-nothing nonsense passed off as manna from God-lips, a symposia like the Leipzig one is nothing but a meeting to allow a bunch of turko-gadflies, poseur and scheisters like hans sienknecht and peter hoffmeister to rub elbows, take face-book pictures of each other, and further their passionately held false belief they are doing something more important and significant.

Author: jc
Tue, May 10th, 2011 11:20:18 AM

RK has heard some rumors hoffscheister and sienknecht, both dealers far more than collectors at this point, are going to, where ever possible, use this meeting to pump their ongoing efforts to sell their collections -- whole as in hoffscheister's case, or parts thereof as in sienknecht's.

It is, once again, a sad state of affairs when greedy, know-little and say even less of substance turko-wannabes like these two over-rated ruggies are putting on the show and trying to lead the pack.

RK attended a similar meeting in Hamburg in November and saw how poorly sienknecht acted when Werner Logis, who formerly, prior to sienknecht's reign, had led the group, appeared.

It was almost comical to watch a peeved sienknecht and a few of his lackey collector buddies leave the room in a huff when Logis took over.

RK knows both hoffscheister and sienknecht well and we can definitely say both of them are a must to avoid.

We will, perhaps, add some other comments after the event this coming weekend.

Need we say again their refusal to allow RK to attend when we long before initiated investigation into the topic they have chosen, as well a number of other reasons not the least of which is we know something about Turkmen rugs and have proven it in spades, is nothing but patent jealousy and fear of our making them look the turko-dummies and bedroom turko-peddlars they are proving themselves to be.

Author: jc
Wed, Feb 16th, 2011 03:17:27 AM

Even though we knew beforehand our emailing interest to attend would be denied we did it anyway.

Of course, we received a reply stating access would be "denied".

What else to expect from a group led by a proven plagiarist and tax-cheat, not to mention thief, like peter hoffmeister, known to many as hoffscheister?

The very fact the "topic" for the symposium is one RK identified and was the first to research and explore seems to be lost on these people.

Do they believe their symposium can be seen in any light other than a come-lately one? Or that by denying RK entry they are doing anything but acting improperly and paranoid?

RK's work is online for all to see and we will be surprised if anything presented at this symposium can equal, let alone outdo, what we have alrady contributed.

The relationship between the iconography found on certain western Central Asian textiles and that on certain historic Turkmen rugs provides interesting food for thought, however, we will be surprised if the presenters at their symposium will provide anything other than snack compared to the banquet RK's Weaving Art Museum exhibition, ANIMALS, PEARLS AND FLOWERS: Synthesis of Turkmen Iconography spread out for all to partake.


One last word about hoffmeister: the rumor grapevine has it that he is trying to sell his "collection" and several high profile collectors have already received offers to buy it.

RK has also heard besides for a few star pieces most of the rest of the hoffscheister collection is not exemplary. And we are not surprised as hoffscheister is not exactly the brightest bulb on the Turkmen Christmas tree, in fact his lights are so dim they be barely visible on a moonless dark night.

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