The 11th International Conference on Oriental Carpets took place 19-22 April 2007 in Istanbul – the “Carpet City” with nearly 600 participants. This conference will especially be remembered for the impressing numbers of outstanding exhibitions in the program, the great atmosphere and the many activities and interesting sites in the city, and of course for the conference it self – with lectures, dealer’s fair, poster presentations and social activity. It will be hard to achieve such a level on forthcoming conferences.
The opening ceremony of the conference took place Thursday 19 April at the luxurious and expensive Swiss-hotel where ICOC General Secretary Dennis Dodds held the first speech of welcome. Mehmet Cetinkaya, chair of the local ICOC committee held a speech and Turkish officials spoke about the importance of the ancient Turkish weaving tradition. The first lecture was held by Walter B. Denny who spoke about important carpet collections in Istanbul.
The preview opening of the Dealers’ Fair, exclusively for ICOC participants, took place Thursday evening and lasted till 23.30. Around 36 dealers participated with stands. Several dealers reported about good sales. Read more about the Dealers’ Fair
The academic program 20-22 April included more than 50 lectures arranged in parallel sessions, so it was possible to attend ca. 25 lectures. The sessions were organized in themes: Turkish Carpets, Textiles, Archaeology, Costumes, Europe & Oriental Carpets, Technical Features, Caucasian Carpets, Modern Production, Daghestan Kilims, Technical Investigations, Indian Carpets, Egyptian Carpets, Persian Carpets and Collecting & Collections. See a list of all lectures
Poster presentations were a part of the academic program. Around 19 interesting presentations were on display.
The private collections exhibited at the conference hotel included Anatolian yastiks, Anatolian kilims and Ottoman embroideries & Uzbek suzanis.
The highly interesting Josephine Powell Collection was on display at Yildiz Palace and the exhibition lasted till 2 May. The exhibition was well attended and admired by many ICOC participants. Read Raoul Tschebulls’ review and read Jozan Magazine’s review.
The first reception and exhibition Friday evening 20 April was at the Dolmabahce Palace. The palace is a symbol of The Ottoman Empires magnificence and decadence and the 20th century palace style carpets on display were far away from most ruggies taste.
The reception and exhibition later Friday evening at the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Art was the highlight for most ICOC participants. Around 1000 visitors made the reception very cheerful and the exhibition of ancient and antique rugs was an outstanding and unforgettable experience. Read more about the Turkish and Islamic Museum of Art
The exhibitions and receptions at Vakiflar Carpet Museum, Vakiflar Kilim Museum and Topkapi Palace took place Saturday 21 April. Many of the rugs have never been shown for the public before. Read more about the Vakiflar and Topkapi exhibitions
Outside the ICOC program, but visited by many ICOC participants, there were two very interesting exhibitions at the Sakip Sabanci Museum. “In Praise of God – Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches” and “Kaitag Embroideries, Textile Art from Daghestan”. Read more about Anatolian Rugs in Transylvanian Churches