During last weekend's event in Boston we spied dennis dodds a couple of times walking around like a pooh-bah at a snake-charming festival.
We planned to confront him verbally with our objections to his having sold the Los Angeles County Art Museum (LACMA)that miserable pseudo-"Bellini" and his dismal lack of curatorial responsibility in organizing Museum Art Gallery exhibitions and salting them with pieces from his inventory while actively offering them for sale.
Twice now dodds has curated rug exhibitions in the University of Pennsylvania's Arthur Ross Gallery and used them as public venues to sell his wares.
The first of these, held two years or so ago, presented Turkmen weavings and presently a Turkish rug exhibition is hanging there.
It is totally outrageous for a curator to use a museum to actively market his wares and, as afar as we and many others we know are concerned, dodds needs to be confronted for this egregious lack of curatorial discretion and responsibility, made to realize this type of behavior is unbecoming and absolutely unacceptable, as well as stripped of and removed from his high profile positions in the icoc/rug community.
RK realizes self-dealing and promotion have, since their inception, been deeply ingrained in the icoc and acor organizations and also that dodds is not the first to hang his rugs in a Museum and then continue to market them while the exhibition is running.
However, just because others have gotten away with these serious transgressions of public trust in the past doesn't mean we have to keep accepting them.
As far as we are concerned dodds is no better than those sleazy going-out-of-business rug store dealers and has a lot of public explaining to do.
When we finally decided to confront him, on Sunday at the dealers fair, dodds instantly got belligerent and obnoxious.
He quickly realized his belligerence might prove dangerous, so he then shifted his tack and opted for trying to get RK removed from the fair.
Again, dodds's idea backfired, as he was unable to convince anyone RK had done anything to him that might warrant our expulsion.
We were literally convulsed with mirth as dodds started whining and crying about our calling him out for his transgressions and, after realizing no one would help him, slithering off somewhere else to go lick his wounded grossly over-inflated ego in private.
We look forward to keeping the pressure on dodds until he either faces the facts he has deliberately and continually crossed over the fine lines of propriety by not only passing off that cruddy late genre repro "Bellini" on LACMA but by using the Arthur Ross Gallery as a stealth exhibition venue to sell rugs from his inventory.
There is no doubt dodds has improperly used his rug world positions to enrich himself by successfully dealing rugs of quite mediocre proportions for prices that can only be called usury, as well as taking advantage of a naÔve former curator at LACMA and for twice hanging his own rugs that are for sale in the Arthur Ross Gallery.
Itís high time for the rug world to start cleaning house and one of the best ways to show this process has begun in earnest would be to rid itself asap of a carpet-bagging grifter like dodds, who has strained the limits of curatorial responsibility, as well as those of propriety, way past their breaking points.
Rugdom is fast sinking into a growing morass of indiscretion and indifference and, unless this situation is quickly remedied, we are sure the higher levels of appreciation for oriental rugs, some of us have worked so hard to achieve, will never be realized.