Re: Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

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Posted by Wendel Swan on December 02, 1998 at 16:06:45:

In Reply to: Re: Would a rose by any other name smell as sweet? posted by Yon Bard on December 02, 1998 at 14:48:04:

"Oriental" rugs have been collected (or purchased) by Europeans for centuries and by Americans since colonial times. The records of Belvoir House show that George Washington bought a large carpet for the dining room at Mount Vernon in the 1790's.

The motivations for acquisition are likely to be as numerous as the countries in which they originate.

The prominent collectors from 1890 to 1930 bought rugs which were the woolly equivalents of Old Masters paintings. The rug books of the time were not filled with the purely utilitarian objects or the wonky "ethnographic" material that some collectors prefer today.

Tastes change with the times in ways that are quite apparent retrospectively. We now all realize that the Caucasian rugs we commonly thought to be "nomadic" or "tribal" in the 1960's are just a form of commercial production. One day I believe there will be a consensus that much of the Turkmen weaving springs from a similar commercial well. We need not romanticize rugs in order to love them.

The current resurgence in interest in oriental rugs probably started in the 60's when, emerging from WWII, the West took notice of the commerce in other countries and continents and we expanded our personal horizons.

Chance, as Yon says, must play an important role in what we collect. In the process of collecting these artifacts, some collect art and some collect facts.


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