Antique Anatolian Carpets: Masterpieces from Philadelphia Area Collections

Category: Exhibitions

PHILADELPHIA The University of Pennsylvania’s Arthur Ross Gallery, 220 S. 34th St., is hosting “Antique Anatolian Carpets: Masterpieces from Philadelphia Area Collections” from Jan. 21 through April 2. Guest Curator of the exhibition is Dennis Dodds, an alumnus of the University, architect and noted Philadelphia collector.

Exploring the historic legacy of established weaving traditions in Anatolia in Turkey, the selections for the exhibition provide evidence of distinctive styles that developed in certain regions.  A large group of prayer rugs emphasizes the direct relationships between their design and Islamic architectural elements.

The main emphasis in this exhibition is on village rugs; however, a highlight of the show is a previously unrecorded large medallion Ushak carpet from the late 16th century.  In addition, significant pieces featured in the 1996 Philadelphia International Conference on Oriental Carpets exhibitions will be shown alongside new discoveries.

The exhibition will also feature a lecture by Walter B. Denny, professor of the history of art and adjunct professor of Middle East studies at the University of Massachusetts, titled “From the Prayer Rug to the Medallion Carpet: Architectural Themes and Functions in Islamic Carpets.” The lecture will be held at 4:30 p.m., Feb. 1 in Room B-3 of Meyerson Hall on the Penn campus. The lecture will be followed by a reception and viewing of the exhibition in the Gallery.

“Antique Anatolian Carpets” is supported by Material Culture Inc., Philadelphia, and the Turkish-American Friendship Society of the United States, Philadelphia.  The lecture and reception are co-sponsored by the Middle East Center at Penn and by the Department of Fine Arts of the Penn School of Design.

The Arthur Ross Gallery is open Tuesday — Friday, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m., and Saturday — Sunday, noon — 5 p.m.  Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Additional information is available at 215-898-2083 or

Dennis Dodds 20 January 2006

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