To finish off here are several additional (brief) comments.
The first concerns the editorial presumably written by that rag halis still low on the learning curve editor ben evans.
Stuck firmly therein mr evans tries his hand at reviewing the recently reopened Islamic galleries at the Louvre Museum in Paris where there is a mighty fine and choice collection of historic carpets.
In the good old days, and RK is talking here of mid-1970s, the carpet collection was kept in a mostly shuttered wing of the museum. Gaining entry was a real process but it could be accomplished with effort.
RK well remembers our half-dozen or so visits during those times when, mind you, purchasing a great rug was possible, particularly in Paris.
Apparently evans has not been around long enough to appreciate the new improved easy access to the carpets and does not mention it as one of the pluses of the renovation choosing instead to bemoan the lack of textiles installed in the new galleries.
A better moan would concern the exclusion of non-classical pile weavings from the Metropolitan Museum of Arts new Islamic galleries install.
Rest assured these omissions are not accidents, rather they send a message one does not need to be a genius to realize: Major museums like the Met and Louvre are just plain disinterested in historic carpets and related textiles.
Is more than a good hard look at the pathetic state of oriental rug studies and scholarship not enough?
So instead of squeeking at Louvre mr evans should have leveled one, if not both, barrels in his review of the Mets Islamic gallery renovations that appeared in a previous issue to question, and complain about, the lack of any non-classical historic carpet weavings on display.
Its an issue very well worth public airing, especially today with exceptional early 19th century and older examples woven in and around Anatolia and Turkmenistan being the most coveted and eagerly pursued by todays collectors.
But evans is too lightweight a rug connoisseur to have any meat in this BBQ, worse hes casper milqutoast when it comes to discussing anything considered politically incorrect.
And saying anything critical about the Met, or anything it does, falls into that category.
Our second comment concerns the full page, and quite loaded a page it is, review for the new Anatolian Kelim publication Die Farben Meiner Traum: Fruhe Kelims aus Anatolien".
The book is authored by harry koll and sabine steinbock, a couple who apparently have for a decade and a half or so been totally besotted with Anatolian flatweaves.
The review starts off by telling everyone this is the final part of a trilogy brewed over the last decadepublished to accompany the eponymous exhibition held at the Duisburg Kulture- und Stadt-historisches Museum from April to July 2011.
Calling that exhibition eponymous and lauding it to high Kelim heaven has far more to do with that rag halis self-interest, they are selling the book, rather than koll and steinbocks effort deserving such accolade.
Same goes for calling this group (of kelim) world-class.
They surely are not, well not to anyone who knows anything past Anatolian Kelim 101.
And guess what: the book contains 101 kelim. Coincidence or did they feel the need to go one past Yani Petsopolous 100 Kelims publication?
It is also too bad that group of kelim cognescanti appears not to include that rag halis reviewer Ali Riza Tuna, koll, steinbok or anyone else who approved this shill of a review.
RK has spent some time with the book, as well as the two others in the trilogy, and we can truthfully and righteously say there is nothing within them other than more pictures of what RK calls Traditional period Anatolian kelim.
There is not one example RK would place firmly in the earlier Classic period; forget about any from the first or earliest Archaic period.
Perhaps the authors know this and the little text they provide, which echoes the same in their former two efforts, the reason?
Maybe readers should be glad, as koll and steinbok clearly have nothing of note to say except generalities, platitudes and tres novice remarks.
And who at this point in time needs more say-nothings about Anatolian Kelims, rugDUMB already has enough, right?
Calling descriptions of the 101 kelim short that rag hali then goes on to tell us no ages are given and the text is easy to read.
Not very informative, but how about this ridiculous tripe which immediately follows:
The books important content will be appreciated by a wider audience than the first two publications in the series.
And why is that?
Go ask that rag hali as no explanation is offered or even intimated. They say so, and therefore it is RK calls this hali-speak.
Heres some more:
the book has been written from the viewpoint of the collector with the aim to encourage reflection and discussion regarding the appreciation of kilims as art and as the witness of vanishing nomadic cultures.
Yeah right, lets see that rag hali or koll and steinbock, lead the reflection and discussion, or even show real witness of vanishing nomadic cultures.
To say the review, and this kelim book, is all talk and no walk is not unkind, it is fact.
Sorry, but we do not have the patience to methodically dissect koll and steinbocks text and inability to add anything to Anatolian Kelim studies other than their desire to be recognized as experts.
And experts they surely aint.
In describing the 101 kelims they throw around nonsensical and meaningless terms like our appreciation of kilims continues to evolve, and human content.
RK can genuinely say they need a lot more, and glory be shouldnt they have evolved before publishing this trilogy.
We will end with this quote from the review:
It is however the next section that sets Die Farben meiner traume apart from any kilim books published so far. Called Saving what can be saved the conservation of textile fragments from the example of Anatolian kilims, it examines the delicate question of the preservation and display of these textiles once they enter private or institutional collections.
If old hat ideas like the authors view is that conservation that does not remove any of the original material should prevail over irreversible restoration. is noteworthy that rag hali and their reviewer, mr Tuna, are ignoring such ideas are already firmly fixed in rug collecting and studies.
Same for the rest of the now well-known, and now respected by just about everyone, prohibitions against kelim over-restoration koll and steinbock mention.
Such pretending only sets kelim studies and appreciation back several decades, a place where koll, steinbock and Tuna remain transfixed.
Add to that idea the supposed new format the book advances to catalog kelims is as worthy asTuna exclaims. Sadly it is not.
Yesshhh, is Tuna going on to try and tell us how great koll and steinbock are for brushing their teeth every morning.
And although making digital reconstructions of fragmented kelims, a pastime of koll and steinbok profiled in the book, might be a fun parlor-game does it really do anything to advance kelim studies?
Sorry it doesnt, and nether does a publication like the one koll and steinbock have parented.
As a telling aside we must mention when the first volume, titled "Kult Kelim", in koll and steinbocks trilogy appeared RK was moved to get their phone number and call them.
We spoke to koll and in that short conversation told him titling his book Kult Kelim was outrageous, as RK had already published our catalog of ancient slit-tapestries in the Cairo Museum with the same title, Cult Kelim, more than ten years previously.
It was almost comical to hear kool mutter a bunch of nonsense as to why he copied our title, but when he said Well, ours is spelled differently (Kult/Cult) RK had to end the conversation with such a pompous mini-mind.
If you cant be original, why copy what others have done? This something a mini-mind does, and for plagiarizing our title koll and steinbock are well worthy of such denigration.
Forget about the fact their books are a waste of paper and ink, something any honest review of their work would have had to conclude.