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Winter 2015 / Issue 186

Winter 2015
Issue 186

Narrow-strip woven cloths from Ghana & Togo
Figurative Indian chintzes for the Armenian Church
Rural and nomadic Moroccan textiles
How Islamic art came to Berlin
Interview with collector Ignazio Vok
'Kongo: Power and Majesty' at the Met
The lost tiles of Damascus
And much more!

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Editorial The politics of museum management may be complex in France but the cost of scorning a historic legacy in Lyons may well be a high political price to pay

Dialogue The V&A’s Europe 1600-1815 galleries open, Austria Auction Company expands, carpets in paintings, the Sun King’s tapestries travel west and two groundbreaking new publications

Diary A selection of international must-see events

Calendar HALI lists some of the best exhibitions, fairs, auctions and events this winter

Thread of time Throughout history, velvets have formed part of diplomatic exchanges. Two specimens, woven on different continents, show up in European collections in the 17th century

Travellers’ tales Stefano Ionescu The HALI Tour to the Iberian peninsula revealed a very rare single-niche ‘Transylvanian’ rug. The 2015 edition of Sartirana in Italy allowed for the making of more knotted friends

Interview Ignazio Vok has spent a lifetime assembling spectacular textiles. He speaks to HALI on the eve of the second sale of his collection

Comment Susan Day The Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, Lyons’ great textile museum, is facing a frighteningly uncertain future

Anatomy of an object: Steven Cohen An exceptionally well-preserved embroidered floor spread from the Deccan sheds light on some of the typical and easily recognisable features of the group


Armenian altar hangings Dickran Kouymjian In the corpus of historic Coromandel Coast trade textiles, a little-known group of figurative chintzes commissioned as altar curtains for the Armenian Church deserves wider recognition

A grand little motif Hans König Familiar facts and new discoveries lead to a surprise upon tracing the evolution and migration of the ubiquitous trefoil motif, a mainstay of border ornament

Woven weapons James W. Reid Slings, used in attack and for defence, are a rare and little known part of the pre-Columbian textile tradition

Prestige display Duncan Clarke The narrow-strip woven cloths from Ghana and Togo known as Ewe have an enduring role in local ceremonial events

Berber unveiled Gebhart Blazek A recent exhibition saw the return of Lucien Viola’s Berber art to public view. It may be the world’s most important collection of rural and nomadic Moroccan textiles

Textile paintings Sumru Belger Krody A major gift of Central Asian textiles has catapulted the Washington Textile Museum’s holdings to a new level

In his own words Jill D’Alessandro Tribal and ethnographic art dealer Thomas Murray has donated almost 100 textiles to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

How Islamic art came to Berlin Julia Gonnella An exhibition at the Pergamonmuseum in Berlin marked the 150th anniversary of the birth of Friedrich Sarre, an outstanding scholar and a man of his time


Exhibition preview ‘The Carpet and the Connoisseur: The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs’, Saint Louis Art Museum

Exhibition review ‘Kongo: Power and Majesty’, Metropolitan Museum of Art; ‘The Fabric of India’, Victoria and Albert Museum; ‘Thirtieth Anniversary Exhibition’, Zollanvari, Embrach, Switzerland

Book review Iznik: The Ömer Koç Collection by Hülya Bılgı, reviewed by Arthur Millner; Damascus Tiles. Mamluk and Ottoman Architectural Ceramics from Syria by Arthur Millner, reviewed by Penny Oakley; African Textiles. The Karun Thakar Collection by Duncan Clarke and Miriam Ali-de-Unzaga, reviewed by John Picton


Exhibition One of the key commercial textile exhibitions of 2015 came courtesy of Francesca Galloway, London, who presided over a varied and rich display in her Dover Street gallery

Auction price guide The most interesting lots from London’s Islamic Week sales, King Umberto II’s ‘polonaise’ in New York, the outcome of Sotheby’s London’s return to dedicated carpet auctions and more

Last page A look at the HALI year ahead

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