(ed. the following has also been posted in the "Book Reviews" topic area)
It's interesting to note the similarities between how rugDUMB ostensibly perceived Tabibnia's Milestones publication and the sale of the Clark sickle-leaf carpet.
Both events were heralded as "changing the field".
Note please these pronouncements were made exclusively by those who stood to benefit. We did not read one independent review, and there were many of the sickle-leaf sale and basically none of Tabibnia's publication, that included any such language or thought.
It is now months after the sickle-leaf carpet's sale and years since the Milestones book's release. Has the field of collecting oriental rugs, or appreciating them, changed?
Of course the answer is No.
RugDUMB is prone to many frailties, the worst self-deception and delusion.
Even worse, on the other side, hubris and an over-inflated interpretation of its puny abilities to create interest outside those who are already believers and participants.
Someone like alan marcuson typifies these traits, his career a poster boy demonstration of the failure to create the necessary base on which genuine "field changing" events can be built.
And that necessary base is museum exhibitions. Not more of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's type of rugs of the kings -- this has already been done umpteen times and the lay public, joe and jane smith, have already ' been there, done that'.
Our field needs museums to exhibit the masterpiece mysterious, fascinating and captivating rugs, kelim and soumak of Anatolia, Turkmenistan and the Caucasus with the same academic gusto and reverence bestowed on the classical rugs of Safavid Persia and Ottoman Turkey.
This, and only this, has the possibility to 'change the field'.
But to do it requires real work and real research, both historic, ethnographic and scientific; action which so far has proven impossible to initiate.
The result of this inaction and in fact the present absolute avoidance in the museum world is the sorrowful state this field has been, and is, mired in. Plus it looks like the future will, alas, be more of the same.
So until the next bogus 'field changing' event is triumphantly proclaimed on monday and forgotten by all by tuesday morning let RK remind you who is to blame.
Take a look in the mirror and you will see the culprit.
Trusting your leaders, the michael franses, the dennis dodds, the hali magazines; your museum people, the Walter Dennys, the dr jon thompsons, the louise mackies, the cathy cootners; your top dealers the Ebberhart Hermanns, the Moshe Tabibnias etc, etc to do the heavy lifting for you has obviously been a poor choice.
Get off your chairs and realize the greatest gains made in our field have been done not by these 'names' but by others of far less acclaimed stature who have published ground-breaking books and built impressive collections.
Time's wasting' for this generation of oriental rug believers, collectors and appreciators to finally make a mark and break through the glass-ceiling in the museum world which has prevented the masterpiece indigenous town, village and clan weavings from joining their city and royal atelier brothers on the esteemed walls of first tier institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the more numerous second tier ones in America, Europe and now the Middle East.