Early Anatolian Kilim Rugs – The Wolf Collection Exhibition
During the weekend of April 11 through 13, New York witnessed a major antique rug event. A symposium sponsored by the Hajji Baba Club was held on Saturday at the New York Historical Society, along with an exhibition, From Timbuktu to Tibet , which open Friday evening, comprised of outstanding pieces from New York private collections.
In conjunction with these events Nazmiyal was pleased to host an exhibition on Sunday, Early Anatolian Kilims from the Collecton of Marilyn and Marshall Wolf . Early Anatolian kilims have come to be widely recognized as some of the greatest artistic achievements of the Oriental rug weaving tradition, and the pieces from the Wolf Collection certainly attest to the validity of such opinion. These kilims, some twenty-five in number, represent a variety of designs and regional types from Anatolia or Turkey produced between the seventeenth and the nineteenth centuries.
They are works of great artistic individuality and power, demonstrating that kilims are not simply the humble country cousins of urban workshop rugs in pile technique, as they were once thought to be. Rather, they exemplify a cultural authenticity, and a sophistication of design and color that can match and even outstrip the finest classical pile Oriental carpets. In fact Anatolian kilims represent an extremely archaic artistic tradition which disappeared early on in the process of expanded production throughout the rug-weaving regions of the Orient in the later nineteenth century.
Works of this kind have rarely been exhibited even in the museums dedicated to textile arts and design. But here in this exhibition, it was possible to appreciate all the magic that these wonderful kilims have to disclose, both individually, and collectively, where each piece challenged its neighbors for the viewer’s attention. One example from the exhibition especially demonstrates the passion and dedication of the collectors.
Marshall Wolf acquired a fragment of this piece in the market in Istanbul. Some time later the rest of the kilim came up at auction, where he went the distance needed fend off all other buyers, so that both halves could be happily re-united as they now appear. The symposium and the exhibitions attracted a wide audience of rug enthusiasts and experts from all over North America and Europe as well. The gallery of photos from the exhibition at Nazmiyal provides a nice sample of the distinguished participants.