Home > BULLETIN >Don't believe what you read...unless you write it
Sat, Aug 25th, 2012 04:19:10 AM
Topic: Don't believe what you read...unless you write it

Today while surfing the web to try and learn more about Elena Tsareva's said 100 publications RK found the following quote on the San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society Jan 2012 newsletter, which is linked to their website:

"Dr. Elena Tsareva is a world-‐acknowledged specialist in the field of archaeological and ethnographic textiles and an expert on the topic of carpet weaving of the peoples of Northern Eurasia...Since 1984 she has been a contributing editor of HALI magazine, and author of more than one hundred publications. Her latest book, Turkmen Carpets. The Hoffmeister Collection, was named by the NY Times as one of the five best books on antiques published during 2011."

Did the NYTimes really name the book as one of the five best books on antiques published in 2011?

Frankly, we were skeptical such an accolade had been bestowed on the hoffmeister collection book, and even more so that we had not previously heard about it.

It did not takes us more than 120 seconds to find the following, which appears on the NY Times website:

"Holiday Gift Guide
Caravans Between Covers

The lengths that collectors will go to, the money and legwork they will sink into exotic antiques completely unrelated to their daily lives, can make for transporting reading. The years five best books in the genre show how owners have traveled, researched and bought obsessively, and pressed dealers for background information on every acquisition. The collections slowly fill homes and storage spaces, survive wars and natural disasters, and occasionally turn up on public view far from their homelands.

A selection of gift ideas from The New York Times...

TURKMEN CARPETS: MASTERPIECES OF STEPPE ART, FROM 16TH TO 19TH CENTURIES, THE HOFFMEISTER COLLECTION (Arnoldsche, $95). Peter Hoffmeister, a rug scholar and collector in Germany, has spent 40 years researching how Turkmen tribes designed, wove, used and repaired their tent hangings and floor coverings. Turkmen Carpets, by the Russian textiles historian Elena Tsareva, analyzes 168 weavings. Mr. Hoffmeister has subjected them to carbon dating, and individual knots of goat and camel hair have been counted.

Ms. Tsareva has determined which tribes favored different shades of red madder dye, ranging from salmon pink to purplish brown. The zigzagging rug patterns represent pomegranates, wheels, vines, birds, trees and serpents. The pile textures are subtly ridged because makers intentionally dropped stitches here and there. A single textile could take years to produce.

Ms. Tsareva writes that weavers would hunch over gossamer strands on outdoor looms only during the hottest summer period, primarily in mountain pastures where the dry air helped to prevent the warps sticking together.

So in fact the NY Times did not "really name the book as one of the five best books on antiques published in 2011.".

But rather recommended it in a "Holiday Gift Guide", which is in reality a huge horse of a different color.

The SF Bay Area rug society, like most of rugDUMB, is either too stupid to realize the difference or too accustomed to pumping pompous nonsense as fact.

And RK still has not been able to determine if Tsareva has actually published over 100 publications.

Author: jc
Sat, Aug 25th, 2012 04:19:10 AM

Recently a reader emailed and told us a number of other websites, including several run by rug societies, have also repeated the erroneous citation that the NY Times had called the hoffsheister/tsavera book "one of the five best books on antiques published in 2011."

We looked up the NYTimes review and post it here for all to see how incorrect those citations are.

The article calls it one of the five best books showing how collectors will sink time and money into making a collection.

By the way, the author does not say if they are successful or not.

Author: Fahad
email: [email protected]
Thu, Jan 26th, 2012 10:28:01 PM

RK Replies:

What little hoffmeister, the carpet scheister and plagiarist, wrote in the book demonstrates how little he actually knows and substantiates what RK has written about him.

Forty years is, you are right Fahad, a long time. However, learning about Turkmen rugs is difficult and formulating original ideas far more demanding and difficult. This is something hoffmeister's effort well proves.

As we wrote in our critique the hoffesiter/Tsareva book would have been far better posited as a coffee table tome, with little actual text and good well written captions.

But a pompous Turko-clown like peter hoffmeister is too full of himself, and too ignorant to realize a hired gun like Elena Tsareva could and would only produce a text with obvious, tired and worn out information, while what is 'new' would be limited to highly suspect and in fact specious postulation.

Turkmen studies needs science, not the pseudo, classic comic book, c14 and incomplete fiber/dye analyses that equally clownish poseur jurg rageth has been struggling for the past 6 plus years to compile and publish.

Time will tell what rageth actually releases. But RK is pretty confident it will be in the mode of his Anatolian Kelim and Radio-carbon dating book; and therefore with little lasting value, other than as a picture book.


Jack, you're right. I actually expected to find more.



As regards the Hoffmeister collection, actually it's a pretty nice book, not really coffee table.

Its targeted audience does not include the scholar, of course. So, maybe people like me ;-).

I honestly expected a bit more substantial written by Mr. Hoffmeister himself.

After 40 years of collecting he must have acquired at least some knowledge about his field of interest which would be worth of being shared with his audience.

Author: jc
Thu, Jan 26th, 2012 08:45:40 PM

Ciao Fahad:

We followed the link you sent but did not find anythingauthored by Elena Tsareva, although there were citations for other Tsareva's

So maybe you can cut and paste what you did find and send it in?

Also we are a bit curious about your "nice" comment concerning your getting the hoffscheister catalog.

Care to explain....

Author: Fahad
email: [email protected]
Thu, Jan 26th, 2012 09:23:25 AM

Hi Jack,You may find some of Elena's publications when checking Google Advanced Scholar: http://scholar.google.com/scholar?as_q=&num=100&btnG=Search+Scholar&as_epq=&as_oq=&as_eq=&as_occt=any&as_sauthors=e+Tsareva+&as_publication=&as_ylo=&as_yhi=&as_sdt=1.&as_sdtp=on&as_sdtf=&as_sdts=5&hl=enThere are some. BTW. I have bought her book about the Hoffmeister collection. Nice.

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