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San Francisco ARTS Postscript

In the world of antique rugs and textile art, the events of the past week in San Francisco may have heralded the dawn of a new reality, and not an unpleasant or perilous one at all. With the slow registration of dealers in attendance at ARTS, there were fears for the future of the show itself, all of which had proved to be totally unfounded by the conclusion of the event late Sunday afternoon. Apparently, with fewer dealers around, it might actually have provided the buying public with a more focused perspective on the offerings.


According to ALL dealers, the show went well, as sales were made. Those stalwart souls who ventured to SF for the events left satisfied. So did their clients, who were able to see and connect with the art on offer: many walked away with fresh acquisitions to add to their collections. It is difficult to imagine a better scenario given the geopolitical/economic realities of the 21st century.

Although the de Young had nothing special planned for this week, Tom Cole hosted an exhibition of tribal weavings, ‘Light on Persia’, in San Rafael, which was praised by all who attended, Jim Dixon was open for visitors in his carpet cathedral in Occidental, and Mohammad Zavvar marked his entry into the world of formal auctions with an offering at his gallery in Oakland. But no one was complaining. The weather was great (as usual in mid-October in the Bay Area) and the mood decidedly satisfied.

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Were there world-class rugs to be found? A few were sprinkled throughout the motel, mostly under wraps rather than draped over the balconies for the world to see, which is what one might expect. A classical fragment or two (or three) were reported to have changed hands, good Turkmen weavings, too, found new homes and the few ‘furnishing’ rugs in the motel were quickly snatched away to grace the floors of homes in the adjacent upscale Pacific Heights area of town or the Berkeley or Oakland hills across the bay.


Though the venue at the Capri Motel is a decidedly ‘insider’s event’ and rather daunting to the uninitiated, there were perhaps a dozen new people among the familiar faces of the established rug and textile audience. Somehow, five years into this event, local public awareness is still minimal and press coverage is nil. But somehow, perhaps by word of mouth, some fresh faces did appear to take a look.

As they say in religious circles, only Allah is all knowing and perfect, and the expectations of both the dealers and collectors were both realistic and realised. ‘Happy’ was the primary theme of the event as the sun set over the rolling hills of San Francisco, signifying the conclusion of the week’s events.





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