A Much Welcomed Chance...

The intiative of Bethany Mendenhall and Charles Lave to call up support for the flatweave collection of Josephine Powell and her huge archive of field work in the frame of the Anatolian Cultural Heritage Center , a private museum kind of institution in Istanbul, may lead to the biggest advances that kilim research could bring up until now. The pitiful contributions of the Western museums we have mentioned, their counterparts in Turkey we will not describe to keep our own moral high enough to write such contributions.

So we want to recommend to every collector to support this initiative. One benefit it will have for sure: this collection contains a big lot of flatweaves that are old , they do not need the ghostly appearance of a fragment to appear old. Coming closer by supporting this drive would enable the learning collector to grasp an unrivalled chance to study the real material ( a well documented item is much more real than one without that background: thinking of the second hand car business one might realize that a used car coming without papers is less real in a very material sense!).

Bethany and Charles write: "Josephine Powell, noted kilim scholar and ethnographer, is in the midst of creating a Museum and Study Center in Istanbul that is devoted to kilims, their Anatolian context, and the lives of the nomads who wove them. It will contain more than 200 kilims and flatweaves, and a sample of the tools and implements used in nomadic societies. It will also contain her collection of more than 30,000 slides that document the kilims, their usage, and the nomadic societies that made them. Her field notes are also being transcribed, annotated and expanded. Everything will be accessible, there will be no "deep storage" used to hide things away.

The Museum and the Study Center compliment each other: someone curious about a particular kilim on display, will be able to link it to the field notes and pictures that document it; or someone reading the field notes who wants a concrete example will be able to find it in the display of kilims and ethnographic objects. That is, it will be an institution of interest to scholars and collectors at all levels of interest. To learn more about the project please see the website.

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