Caucasian carpets, Exhibition at Washington County Museum of Fine Arts

Category: Exhibitions

Shirvan rug. Eastern Caucasus, 19th Century, Wool with cotton selvedges, 4’8″ x 4′. On loan from Jerry and Kaye Thompson, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts has announced an exhibition of Caucasian rugs and carpets February 2 – April 20, 2006.

The exhibition includes antique Caucasian rugs, prayer rugs, horse covers, saddle bags and other types of tribal Caucasian weavings. The rugs and weavings are from eastern and southern Caucasus. Among the exhibited rugs is a striking Shirvan rug ( image right ) from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Thompson.

The rugs and weavings on display are on loan from the collections of Dr. and Mrs. George Manger, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Newcomer and Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Thompson.

In an introduction to the exhibition the Washington County Museum writes: “The Caucasus, a region bordering Asia Minor, located between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, has a rich cultural tradition of textile weaving. These skills have been handed down through the generations from grandmothers

Borchalu or Fachralo Kazak. Central Caucasus, late 19th Century, Wool, 4’11” x 3’11”. On loan from a Private Collector

and mothers to daughters and granddaughters. The weavers of each region or village produce unique carpets that include both Persian motifs and designs influenced by Turkey. Hand-crafted and hand-knotted from pure hand-spun Caucasian wool, these unique creations often took months to create. Since it is a labor intensive process, traditional weaving in this modern era is rapidly fading as inexpensive, synthetic, machine made rugs from other parts of the world flood the market. Generally known for their bold colors and geometric shapes, Caucasian rugs and textiles now constitute one of the world’s most exciting areas of collecting.”

In an interesting  article on R. John Howe writes:  “If you are within striking distance of Hagerstown during the time when this exhibition is up, I encourage you to stop by and enjoy it.”


Location: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, City Park, Hagerstown, Maryland 21741.

Jozan Magazine 15 February 2006

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