The story of Anatolian Kelims and rug collectors is a very recent one and although
we are now in the aftermath of its meteoric ascent and as meteoric descent, it is a story still untold.
The fact something happened is more appreciated, both now and then, than what happened.
RK would have to say someone like prammer, and he has plenty company here, saw the something but never actually understand the what.
Granted we have not seen the “book” that is the subject of the hali article but we do know udo hirsch, who wrote most of it as we have heard, with prammer adding his “impressions”
We might be somewhat curious to read prammer’s patter and maybe a few of the pre-historic and early historic relationships hirsch cites will be new for us(if he strained that hard academically with his "part") but otherwise this book would be instantly forgotten on a back shelf in our library.
Well that’s if someone gave it to us, as we’ll not be queuing up to buy one anytime soon, that’s for sure.
So far we have not gotten a copy and someday, if and when we do, we can turn our gaze to the text.
For now we have the hali ‘preview/review’ article and the text accompanying the advertisement announcing the book publication and sale as well as a few kelims from the collection in the article and advert.
Twice in one day but we have to say it again-- sweet baby Jesus save us:
“Norbert Prammer, an Austrian doctor and collector of kelims and textiles, invited an international group of experts and textile art enthusiasts to present his collection of Anatolian kilims to a critical audience for the first time.”
Michael Buddeberg, the author of the hali article, introduces prammer with those words. He'd just gotten through describing the “kelim party”, held in a 13th century castle ruins the kelim loving doctor threw for his kelim loving “guests”.
Too bad prammer didn’t manage to get any 13th century kelims, instead of the ones he believes warrant publication in a “book” -- or even being the guests of honor at such an impressive shindig.
It’s not to say prammer’s kelims are clownland.com quality because they are not. But neither are they anything to write home about, at least not in our opinion.
Of the 6 illustrated kelims not one is a best of type nor is there anything that is unique.
There is, however, this piece:
which, though not unique, is a rare type without any iconography, design or pattern in the field or border.
We have seen several others and reserve judgment on the age of this piece until seeing far better photos and some wool samples or, best yet, seeing it in person.
The rest of the illustrations are not very interesting for us and, since there are now a number of other publications with similar pieces, we wonder why, besides for ego massage, prammer would believe his collection is important?
It might be to him and his party guests but in the world kelims it isn’t.
Plus there is going to be a second exhibition, this time in the Kunstmuseum in Linz, Austria -- just in time for prammer to sell his books.
Well done, doctor, shame the material your are showing and publishing isn’t better.
We are sure there will be a few “interesting” kelims in prammer's “book” and, in fact, we appreciated seeing this one:
We don’t necessarily agree with the provenance prammer and hirsch state -- Afyon --, nor the date –18th century --.
We’d prefer somewhere south and east and believe early 19th century a better date guesstimate.
Using only one design, repeating it to form a complex lattice and then arranging the coloration for each of those designs without creating uniformity (stripes) or chaos (disjointed color harmony) is a very difficult task.
This kelim shows an expert’s hand and eye; it’s the best of the pieces from his collection we have seen.
We’d imagine prammer bought most of his collection from hirsch, bischoff and rageth, who played, and still play, the three musketeers of kelimology for most of the German and Austrian collectors.
Hali quotes Hirsch as saying “Nowadays it is almost impossible to put together a collection of good Anatolian kilims.”, which they say is refuted by prammer’s collection itself.
We’d have to agree with hirsch and if he meant to say that about prammer’s kelims, we’d agree again.
But surely he didn’t especially since he was possibly the seller or the “expert” who guided prammer in his search for “…beauty and the aesthetics of color”, as Buddeberg waxes on several times about “Prammer the man”.
“There is no coincidence that colour
plays the central role in Prammer’s brief comments about each piece.”
Need we comment further?
We leave the following as our adieu:
1. It’s not “all about color” as this preview/review article is entitled and clearly prammer, Budddeberg, schaeffer, et.al. believe/have been told(hirsch already knows this but keeps it to himself).
2. It’s all about iconography,
boys, and that’s really the what prammer, Buddeberg et.al. have missed and, seemingly, will continue to.