Home > Hot Button Issues >How Boring: the Met's "carpets in paintings" show
Mon, Mar 24th, 2014 02:07:27 AM
Topic: How Boring: the Met's "carpets in paintings" show

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is the most important art museum in America and one of the, if not the, top five art museums worldwide.

They have great collections in all fields including oriental carpets.

Regrettably for the carpet collection, regardless of the fact the "new" Islamic Galleries five years plus in the making were recently reopened, the curatorial expertise falls far short of anything one could call even mediocre.

In fact under the 20 plus years daniel, aka do nothing dan, walker was in charge little happened other than dust accruing on the carpets and in the glass cases.

And since walker's departure, to become the director of the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. and his getting booted out of there long before his contract expired, there has been no action at the Met, even to appoint a proper curator for the Islamic Department.

Worse still is the moribund and atrophied direction this department of this great museum continues to travel.

The latest non-offering is the following, as reported on that rag hali's website:

"Carpets of the East in Paintings from the West

A concise exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York until 29 June 2014 brings together three 17th century oriental carpets that correspond to the rugs featured in three Dutch paintings of the appropriate period, all from the Mets collection.

Precious oriental textiles began to appear in European paintings in the 14th century; originally solely in religious scenes, but becoming a motif that reflected the high social and economic status of those with whom they were shown. Often they were shown draped over tables in genre scenes set in the homes of wealthy citizens and patrons."

How boring to present an "exhibition" that even 20 years ago would have been nothing but a yawn?

Really now to display three carpets -- a Lotto, a Chessboard and a scrolling vine 17th century Persian court carpet -- with a few well known, and some other lesser known, European paintings is surely nothing a museum of the Met's stature and capabilities should contemplate, let alone bother to mount.

This is but another perfect example of the distinct lack of expertise not only the Met suffers but more grievously the entire field of oriental carpet scholarship and collecting suffers as well.

And RK knows exactly where to lay the blame.

Yes, that's right, both at the alleged leaders of rugDUMB and at every last one of you who considers yourself a member of this tribe.

So if you are happy with a major museum like the Met presenting ancient scholarship -- almost 100 years ago real carpet scholars discovered the relationship inherent in European paintings displaying carpets and their dating and provenance -- or hanging in their galleries ONLY court carpets and completely dissing and ignoring equally as important, beautiful and rare small scale society weavings -- like Anatolian and Turkmen village and clan weavings -- then go back to sleep.

But if you, like RK, know something is wrong here then why not become active and get involved in changing this miserably inadequate situation.

Lord knows those schmucks at that rag hali, the nearly DOA icoc fanboys and girls, and the franses, tabibnias, etc will and can do nothing.

They have well proven this and expecting anything to change at their behest is as foolish as expecting Obama to bring change and hope to America.

Author: RK
Mon, Mar 24th, 2014 02:07:27 AM

Several emails have arrived and all of the senders seem perturbed with our take on what we have characterized, basically, as a hackneyed presentation by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with their "Carpets in Paintings" exhibition.

Our detractors seem to feel RK should be "happy" the Met is doing anything with carpets. We also should be "thankful" this great museum is "paying attention" to carpets.

RK can only see this type of logic defeatist and horribly misplaced.

Fact is oriental carpets, except certain courtly Ottoman and Persian ones, are completely ignored by this museum. The Met has made it clear by their actions only these carpets are worth presentation.

And the fact RugDUMB is silent as a lamb about their attitude, and just about every other major museum on the planet, mocks the perturbation our email senders have expressed.

In no other collecting area, even comic books for example, there is far more museum awareness and participation.

And it is rugDUMB's fault this situation exists.

Time to get active instead of sitting on your butts and expecting things to change.

One thing is sure: Our position, and not theirs, is both factual and pro-active.

Being happy for crumbs at the feast is surely not RK wont, and neither should it be yours.

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