Home > LACMA's Questionable Rug Purchase >New Developments re: LACMA
Sun, Jun 5th, 2005 09:31:38 AM
Topic: New Developments re: LACMA

We have recently learned the rug is now in LACMA's conservation department for scrutiny.

On Thursday of this week we called and briefly spoke to Cathy McClean who is charge of the first phase of this process. It seems LACMA is now trying to "figure out" what exactly the purchase of dodds's rug has gotten them into.

So far the rug's areas of restoration have been carefully mapped out and, supposedly, LACMA is pursuing "dye testing" to "help them understand" the nature of the dyes with the objective of having this information provide more "positive dating".

RK's conversation with Ms. McClean was terribly brief, in fact she would not tell us anything except to confirm the rug was actually in her department for "testing". She referred us to Ms. nancy thomas, the deputy director and then said good-bye and hung up the phone.

We have already had a talk with ms. thomas, who astute readers will remember made the brilliant statement in the LA Times article " that the change of the carpet's date does not make it significantly less valuable and that it would not be returned to the dealer.” Of course the “change in the carpet’s date” she refers to was Walter Denny’s change of heart after he saw the carpet in person and “studied it for two hours”. Denny was, you will remember, one of the three “experts” who vetted the carpet for LACMA and declared it to be circa 1550.

Denny’s re-dating of the carpet to the end of the continuum, 1650-1750, goes hand in hand with our opinion the rug is, at best, a late 18th century post period genre reproduction.

Needless to say we didn’t bother calling ms thomas, who impressed us during the conversation we had with her several month go with her lack of genuine concern for finding out the truth about the carpet and then her convinced us of the fact with the dopey and obtuse comments she made in here interview with the reporter who filed the times story.

It is truly a shame she is representing LACMA, as a number of other people at the museum who we have spoken to really do have genuine concern for their institution, as well as far superior intellectual capacities to understand what happened with this purchase and where it went wrong.

RK is quite pleased LACMA now appears to be on the right track and is apparently eschewing the cover-up mode they first adopted in favor of finding out the truth.

Our position has not changed since we originally spoke to dale gluckman, the unfortunate and naive curator who fell for dodds’s highly exaggerated claims about his rug and recommend its purchase to the museum’s benefactors. We offered our help and assistance then and that offer is still open.

We hope LACMA will soon face the fact the rug is not museum worthy and return it to dodds.

As soon as we have any more developments on this ongoing situation we will immediately publish them here on RK.com.

We also hope more of our readers will take a few minutes to write a letter to the director of the museum, Andrea Rich, to express their feelings and hopes the museum will soon realize how unimportant dodds’s carpet is and how little it adds to the great collection of Islamic Art LACMA owns.

Once again her address is:

Andrea Rich
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, Ca.

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