Exhibition “Tribal Weavings of Southern Persia” in Illinois, USA

Category: Exhibitions

Artifacts of a Vanishing Style by Mike Tschebull

An exhibition titled “Tribal Weavings of Southern Persia: Artifacts of a Vanishing Style” has been running at the Minasian Oriental Rug Gallery in Evanston, Illinois since early October, 2002. It will conclude at the end of March, 2003, when some of the pieces in the Evanston show will be moved on to ICOC in Washington, D.C.

Minasians (telephone: 847-864-1010), located in a large ground floor space in this Chicago suburb, about a half hour’s cab ride from O¹Hare International Airport, has been putting on educational and artistic exhibitions like this one for many years. In fact, “Tribal Weavings of Southern Persia” is the seventh in the series. Nothing on exhibition is for sale, and most items come from collectors in the Chicago area. Visitors to the exhibition are admitted through a locked front door (Minasin¹s has never lost a piece out of an exhibition.) during regular business hours and are ushered into a 60¹ X 15¹ well lighted yellow-painted, high-ceilinged gallery separated from the main selling floor. Pieces are hung on the perimeter walls and on display boards arranged down the center of the space. Simple signage gives origin, approximate age, and the owner¹s name.

There are over one hundred kilims, bags, bagfaces, horsecovers, gabbeh, and pile rugs at Minasian¹s, constituting one of the largest assemblages of south Persian weavings ever shown in public, and it dovetails nicely with Hamid Sadighi¹s “Nomadenlager” in Berlin two years ago. Curated by Joe Fell, a retired Chicago rug dealer and one of the major lenders, the show is heavy on pile rugs, but there are outstanding kilims and one show-stopping horse cover. There is no catalogue, but Minasian¹s has made available a handsome heavy paper brochure which illustrates fourteen of the pieces in the show in very good color.

Among the pieces that left lasting impressions are a horsecover, probably Khamseh, with sumak brocaded animals and birds on an aubergine plainweave ground; a slit-tapestry kilim, probably Qashqa’i with two diamonds; a Khamseh pile rug with large boteh on an ivory ground; a red and ivory fifteen foot long pack band, and a red field Luri pilewoven khorjin face with six roundels in a Mongol style.

Minasians series of exhibitions, well worth a visit for any Middle Eastern weaving enthusiast, will continue with a Kazak rug show in the future.

March 19,  2003, Mike Tschebull, Tschebull Antique Carpets

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