Home > LACMA's Questionable Rug Purchase >The $250,000 Question
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Tue, Dec 20th, 2005 06:18:26 PM
Topic: The $250,000 Question

There used to be a program on television in the late 1950’s called the $64,000 question.

Contestants would have to correctly answer a number of rounds of questions until finally they would get the chance to try and answer the big one – the $64,000 question.

Way back then $64K was a lot of money and it still is today for most folks.

But $64,000 is only a quarter of what dodds charged for LACMA for his late, genre reproduction; a pseudo “Bellini”.

By now many readers have read Tony S****’s account of dodds’s offering him the “Bellini” rug for $135,000 as well as RK’s having been contacted by another person who told us dodds offered the rug for $85,000 sometime thereafter.

As far as we are concerned the price LACMA paid is not the issue, as we have clearly expressed our opinion that the rug should not be worth any price to any important museum.


Because it is not museum worthy, as it has no veritable historical connection to any other "Bellini" rug of an early period.

Because it is not beautiful to anyone who is even vaguely conversant with the history of important Early Turkish Village Rugs.

The rug is a late, degenerate copy and this is obvious even when it is compared with two real “Bellini” rugs from the end of the continuum of these majestic Turkish rugs. The photos in RK’s post “Pictures Worth A Thousand Words” demonstrate this to all who have open, unprejudiced eyes to view them.

Those two rugs are surely not the earliest or most significant “Bellini” rugs and naturally neither is a best of type.

But compared to them the LACMA/dodds rug is nothing more than a decorator item, it is not a museum piece and LACMA’s head in the sand approach to this situation is deplorable, especially for an institution of its caliber.

The purchase of dodds’s rug by a curator who knew absolutely nothing about Oriental Rugs and who did not seek a professional opinion from anyone who did -- yes we know about Denny, thompson and mackie’s alleged “vetting” but that was done by emailed photos and none of these experts submitted a written appraisal or expertise, just a nod of the head by phone.

After the fact, long after the purchase was complete, and only because of RK.com’s critique and objections to the totally fabricated circa 1550 date LACMA and dodds foolishly publicized and ‘believed’, LACMA undertook dye testing and carbon 14 analyses.

These tests proved nothing other than how gullible, or is in intransient, LACMA is/was vis-à-vis the facts and truth of the matter.

So gentlemen and ladies, the $250,000 question all of you should be asking dodds and LACMA is: Why after having been shown all of dodds’s sales talk was bogus, having the opinion of the lead expert, Walter Denny, revised by him upwards at least 150 years, to circa 1700, and having the voluminous positive proofs RK.com has supplied to support our contentions about the rug at hand LACMA still has not had the courage, or is it just plain old honesty, to face facts they got taken in by a glib, rug- world con-artist?

That, dear readers, is the central issue here.

One of RK’s many favorite saying is: “Big people make mistakes but little people are always right”.

There is no shame attached to dale gluckman, the curator who fell for dodds’s lies and deceitful sales pitch, making the mistake of believing him.

There was no shame in LACMA’s administration supporting their curator’s decision.

But there is major shame attached to their continuing to support those very positions after they have been proven to be completely incorrect.

More so it is totally shameful to participate and encourage a cover-up of the fact:

1. dodds’s entire sales pitch was totally fallacious

2. the rug in question is far later than it was alleged by dodds to be

3. as well as the indisputable fact it is, at best, a mediocre degenerative copy of the type of rug that belongs in the Islamic collection of a museum of LACMA’s stature.

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