Home > Archive >Dredging Up the Bottom of the Barrel
email: jc@rugkazbah.com
Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014 03:52:27 PM
Topic: Dredging Up the Bottom of the Barrel

On the hali website, we have just been told, is a blurb about cathrine, aka cathy, cootner:

"Former de Young Museum textile curator and occasional 'dealer' Cathryn Cootner was present at the San Francisco Tribal & Textile Art Show in February 2006 selling superb items from her extensive private collection."

RK knows cootner since the early 1970's and has never been wont to give her any accolades, except for her enthusiasm to promote herself as a supposed "textile expert".

Her peregrinations in rugdom, prior to her appointment as "curator" of the deYoung Museum's textile collections are full of curious tales, a number of which RK can verify as fact, and others that are somewhat seen by us as exaggerations.

One thing is sure, ms cootner is no stranger to controversy.

After the late McCoy Jones bequeathed his rug and textile collection to the deYoung, one of the caveats of that bequest was the appointment of cootner to the museum's staff.

In fact, we have heard McCoy's bequest included a substantial monetary one that supposedly included payment for ms cootner's services.

At that time, in the mid-1980's there was a tremendous, and very real, buzz surrounding the deYoung's intentions to make textiles a big part of their public efforts, both within the Museum's structure and staff, as well as outside in the rug and textile community that San Francisco still boasts.

The then newly installed director of the Museum, Harry Parker, definitely saw this and to his credit tried to do everything possible to facilitate its development.

However, Parker was stymied by the foolish and patently stupid ideas and self-promotion cootner engaged in from the get-go.

We watched this happen and were dismayed and disheartened as we saw cootner's actions debilitating and then finally destroying Parker's interest in this field and her department.

Parker, as of Dec. 2005, has retired and we sincerely wish him and his lovely wife, only the best.

However, as far as cootner goes, we can only hope she goes away and stays away, as her legacy will be best forgotten.

We believe cootner remained in her post only because of the Jones bequest and, had things been different, she undoubtedly would have been shown the door long before her tenure ended some years ago.

Her shameless efforts at bringing "clients" into jim blackamon's gallery to advise them of purchases was outrageous, considering her position as the deYoung's curator, added to the fact of the many rumors we heard about her receiving 'commissions' on the pieces sold through her efforts.

Let us mention these are only rumors and frankly RK cares little about them, surely not enough to turn our gaze on to finding out whether or not they are true.

She also would, at the same tribal art show the hali blurb cites, in past years when she was the deYoung's curator take "clients" around the show, like sheep with their shepherd, and point out "must buys"(a direct quote we overheard her utter on time when we witnessed such a 'tour').

Rumors of commissions changing hands also surrounded these recommendations as well.

RK finds, and has always found, cootner's extra-curricular activities to be rather unsightly and we are surprised she was not caught with her hand in the cookie jar. But she wasn't and what we say here about commissions paid to her, once again, are unsubstantiated rumor.

What isn't is the fact she single handedly destroyed that mid- 1980's buzz and made the deYoung Museum turn away from its intentions to make textiles a major feature.

This is fact and RK will be willing to face the music should cootner, or anyone else, think they can prove differently.

So now here comes the hali organ-grinding apparatus calling cootner anything but the blatant self-promoting shark she truly is.

Characterizing her as an "occasional dealer" is truly an insult to anyone's intelligence who knows the facts and hali should be embarrassed as hell to make such a pronouncement.

But, fans, that’s what hali is, and always has been, all about -- shameless promotion that favors themselves, their chosen favorites (i.e. repeating advertisers) or those like dumb-bell, disingenuous dennis dodds or mr machination little lord franses.

There is no doubt cootner is a clever operator who has intelligence -- too bad she is as twisted as the girders of the former World Trade Center and as improperly oriented as those who rammed two airplanes into that structure.

No, no cootner, like dodds, is but another unconscionable character at the rock bottom of the cesspool the world of oriental rug world is mired in and hali's consistent dredging up of these green tinged abusers should not, and cannot be, condoned any longer.

Author: Justin Uh
email: justinuh@live.com
Tue, Jun 3rd, 2014 03:52:27 PM

RK Replies:

Being a "loyal customer" of Ms cootner seems to have blinded you from the truth. And not only that but prevented you from understand RK has no "resentment" or jealousy about her.

We only have distain and disgust that someone like cootner would use her position in the museum to work undercover with a dealer (jim blackmon and his former gallery) to recommend purchases by private clients which resulted in personal benefit.

As for proving our accusations? The fact cootner was booted out of the DeYoung museum should be proof enough for anyone, even a "loyal customer" that she was not acting properly.

And as far as her academics? Go read her portion of the Anatolian Kelim book. If you think what she wrote is scholarly, you can only be a fool.

No, no, ms cootner shot herself in the foot more than enough times to demonstrate to all, even a "loyal customer", that she is everything and more RK has claimed.

One more point: If cootner is innocent of the public accusations RK has levied why doesn't she defend herself, or try to sue for libel?

Simple fact why she doesn't is she is guilty, her silence remains more than enough demonstrable proof.


RK, I have to say that there's a lot of resentment in your words about Ms. Cootner: more than that, a lot of envy and jealousy. You were never ever able to proof your accusations, which means that after six years you wrote this, nobody payed attention to them except me, a loyal customer and friend to Ms. Cootner.

Author: jc
Thu, Mar 9th, 2006 12:00:10 AM

RK has received a few emails from some readers who expressed doubts about what we said concerning cootner, her shilling for blackamon and her leading the sheep around at former tribal shows when she was the deYoung’s curator.

We firmly stand by what we have written and are prepared to defend it if required.

We do not write accusations here lightly and have always made sure we are totally positive about what we say.

We know the difference between truth and slander, that is why our revelations have gone uncontested.

A number of names in the rug world have gotten away with too much, for too long, and RK has decided to no longer stand by and watch these greedy grifters bamboozle the naive, innocent, lazy and stupid.

The old caveat emptor surely applies and while, we well know it takes two to tango, we do take pity on those who get caught in the venus-fly traps those like cootner and dodds wield with impunity.

Well, might we say, used to wield with impunity? As RK intends to see, at the least, these carpetbaggers are called out publicly for their actions.

And, in doing so, we trust those who have been stitched up, like LACMA, will sooner than later wake-up to that fact and realize how badly they have been taken to the cleaners.

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