Oct. 24, 1996
Vol. 16, No. 4

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    Oriental rug sale, symposium: Ideas free; rugs for a price

    Intellectual discussion as well as commercial trade of Oriental rugs share the floor at the Oriental Institute this week.

    A two-day symposium on the cultural significance of Oriental rugs will be held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27. A week-long sale of hundreds of rugs, which began yesterday, continues through Wednesday, Oct. 30. Both events are free and open to the public.

    "Oriental rugs are interesting to people because they are one of the most widely known forms of Islamic art," said John Sanders, Research Associate in the Oriental Institute. "We can understand the diverse cultures in the Middle East better by appreciating their art work, which we see revealed in their carpets."

    Stacks of hundreds of rugs from Afghanistan, Central Asia, Egypt, Morocco and Turkey fill the lobby of the Oriental Institute, as vendors display the works that have become popular as wall hangings and floor coverings. Revenue from the sale, which is being organized by the Oriental Institute's Suq gift shop, will benefit the institute's archives. The sale is being held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily except Sunday, Oct. 27, when the sale will begin at noon, and the final day of the sale, Wednesday, Oct. 30, when the hours will be extended to 8 p.m.

    The symposium examining the history, significance and care of Oriental rugs will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. Among the topics covered that day will be "Nomadic Flat Weaves," "Rug Repair" (a consultant will be available to evaluate damaged rugs), "Caucasian Rugs," and "The Care and Feeding of Oriental Rugs."

    On Sunday, Oct. 27, the conference will continue at noon with talks including "Flat Weaves: Rugs in Two Dimensions," "Baluchi" (rugs from a Central Asian region of the former Soviet Union) and "Turkoman and Turkish Weavings."

    Among the speakers will be Robert Biggs, Professor in the Oriental Institute, a collector of Oriental rugs since 1962. He will discuss the Turkoman and Turkish types of Oriental rugs at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27.

    Sanders will also speak during the Sunday session, at 1 p.m. He will describe his interest in Baluchi rugs.

    For more information on the rug sale or symposium, call 702-9509.