(ed. This post was written several years ago and has been online since, albeit in the LACMA'S Questionable Rug Purchase Topic Area. The reply below was written today, 2.1.07)
For some time now we have known about this and waited to publish until we could connect another name to the ongoing LACMA/dodds rug fiasco. So far that connection remains without firm supporting documentation and, therefore, we have decided to go ahead anyway and publish this now.
When RK first spoke to dale gluckman, the hapless former curator who championed the purchase of dodds's rug to the Collector's Committee, she told us dodds told her "The rug is from my private collection. It has never been for sale.".... "I bought it in Turkey 25 years ago.".
We shredded dodds's fantasy presentation of his previous ownership when it was revealed here on RK.com the rug had been in a Bausbak Sale Catalog in 1981.
We would now like to add the rug was then, two years later, illustrated as number 7 in the catalog of a collector's exhibition organized in Austria.
As you can see the exhibition was sponsored by the Society for Textile Art Research in Vienna.
Here is the description, which lists the rug as 17/18th century, a far more honest, though still somewhat too early, date.
The owners are not listed in the catalog but we have heard from the society all the rugs came only from Society Members, no chance dodds loaned it to them.
The description makes comparison of the medallion the preceding piece, number 6 an earlier and far better of its type double niche small rug from Ushak, with the one the LACMA/dodds rug sports, even though the drawing in the Ushak is so far superior the comparison is basically moot.
Same would go for any other that could be drawn, however to the reviewer’s credit, he notes the smorgasbord assortment of parallels with various other types of Turkish rugs the LACMA/dodds rug evokes.
From the getgo we’ve called the LACMA/dodds rug a pastiche and we appreciate the reviewer’s tact and bedside manner in alluding to the same – after all this is the book of a “collector’s show” and those egos do bruise easily.
Above is the photo from the Austrian Catalog next to number 6.
Actually the reason we put them side by sides was to make clear how poorly proportioned and aspected the LACMA/dodds really is.
It has no depth of field; is truly indelicate and, in our opinion, best described as ghastly and insipid.
It is not a work of art and showing it next to anything that is demonstrates and emphasizes that very clearly.
Gluckman was quite open with us when we first spoke and, when we told her we thought the rug had been on the market for years and dodds was just the latest owner, she seemed surprised and incredulous. This is not unusual considering all the bunk and BS dodds had told her and she, of course, had no reason to question. But after our call she surely did, and to her discredit, she didn't even bother to check out the most obvious facts. Had she, she would have learned the truth -- dodds's story was mostly BS.
It is also patently apparent why dodds hid the facts from her, other wise how would he have been able to continue spinning the "it is circa 1550", "it is a masterpiece of its type" and "it is a museum piece" yarn.
No, dodds should be rebuked for his salesmanship, made to refund the money and then run out of rugdom on a sharpened rail.
Had LACMA done even a mediocrum of due diligence they would have learned the facts and never fallen for dodds's bogus spiel.