Tragic and regrettable as the complete silence the LACMA 'bellini' rip-off perpetrated by dennis dodds remains to this day, the aftermath RK predicted years ago has come to pass -- No museum in America will mount an exhibition of oriental carpets, nor will they do anything but avoid the subject like they would an open sewer.
There is not one shadow of doubt what dodds did stinks as badly as one, yet he continues to enjoy the fruits of his deception and theft unscathed.
He also remains the 'president' of the icoc, a position that has become as moribund and worthless as LACMA's bogus bellini.
RK has not had the opportunity to confront dodds publicly. Were we to we would spit in his face, as we view him as the most disgusting character in rugDUMB, and Lord knows what a dubious accomplishment that is considering all the other grifters, poseurs, lairs, cheats and con-artists.
RK recently saw photo of dodds and he looks like he has one foot in the grave. Frankly we cannot wait until the other one is there, too.
His demise will be welcomed by us, and should be by anyone else who knows the LACMA 'bellini' story, as well as the other ones RK has made public where dodds has used his position to sell, even off the walls of lesser museum exhibitions he organized, his crapola, mediocre examples of woven art to naive unsuspecting clients.
As we wrote in an email to him several days ago: "We can't wait to read your obituary".
LA Art Museum's Questionable Rug Purchase Revealed
at the Kazbah
LACMA's Questionable Rug Purchase >LA Art Museum's Questionable Rug Purchase Revealed
Author:jc email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon, Mar 24th, 2008 08:00:23 AM
LA Art Museum's Questionable Rug Purchase Revealed
The post just below this new preamble began RK's crusade to expose the lies and deceptions dennis dodds used to convince a gullible, naive and trusting acting curator at LACMA to recommend purchase of his late genre period reproduction "bellini" rug.
It has been online since late 2004 and so far many more than 1,000(one thousand) readers have read the truth about dodds, his specious salesmanship, his ludicrous "opinions" about the rug and, of course, the true and sorrowful history of the bogus "bellini", which had remained unsold on the international rug market for more than 25 years.
Convincing the LACMA curator, dale gluckman, who lost her job because of this fiasco, was like taking candy from a baby and the fact that no one besides RK has spoken out publicly about this travesty places another big black cloud over rugdom.
RK has stated, and we firmly believe, unless there is substantial public outcry against dodds's unbridled greed and stupidity for cheating a major museum, like LACMA, we can all be sure the blow-back and residual effects of this will prevent LACMA, or any other museum, from ever viewing historic Oriental Rugs in the correct and proper light or ever considering genuine woven art-works (not late genre period reproductions like dodds's bogus "bellini") as important and worthwhile subjects for research and exhibition.
There are many posts on this topic on RugKazbah.com and when they are read, both individually or as a group, they prove and establish beyond any doubt dodds cheated LACMA and did so knowingly and with malice.
HE INTENDED TO CHEAT THEM AND HE DID.
RK trusts very soon dodds will be held accountable by rugdom for his deceptions, and then this process will enable and empower LACMA’s directorate to confront dodds and force him to take the bogus "bellini", all his lies and prevarications back to his basement gallery in Chestnut Hill, Pa.
There is no doubt that is the only place a pseudo-imitation "bellini" and carpet-bagging thief and con-man like dodds belongs -- underground in a backwater basement, surely not in one of America's major museums like LACMA.
The editorial in the December, 2004 Maine Antiques Digest, which is perhaps the best Antique Journal in America, raised an important issue: What are the responsibilities of antique collectors and dealers concerning reproductions and fakes?
This editorial mentions a supposed Civil War period banner that “…worked its way into the marketplace and eventually to the Gettysburg National Military Park”, which is a museum and “…holy Land for Civil War enthusiasts.
A whistle blower, who is a longtime collector, became proactive and the banner was exposed as a fake. This episode resulted in “…Gettysburg being spared the questionable artifact and its money will be returned.”
The editorial went on: “Calling an object a fake can be a minefield. What if you’re wrong? The accusation alone has the potential to damn a piece, rendering it unsalable and exposing the whistleblower to a lawsuit. What if you’re right, however, and do nothing? A fake…has the potential to damage…the credibility of the industry.”
This editorial could not have come at a more opportune moment as RK.com has been mulling over what do to about the following for some days - The Los Angeles Country Museum of Art's (LACMA) recent purchase of a Turkish Carpet alleged to be circa 1600.
It surely isn't and in our estimation this rug is nothing more than a later period reproduction.
Here is the photograph of the rug:
It was purchased by LACMA’s Costume and Textile Department and while the sources of the funding are not totally clear to us, the price they paid for the carpet is. The seller is dennis dodds, owner of the maqam gallery in Philadelphia. He is also the chairman of the icoc, as well as holding other high profile rug positions. According to dodds, LACMA paid “…around 150,000 English pounds…”, about $290,000 at the current exchange rate – that’s quite a price.
Especially since RK.com believes the pieces is, at best, a late period reproduction.
It is surely not circa 1600, or even circa 1700 according to us.
In the editorial Sam Pennington, the Maine Antiques Digest’s longtime owner, breaches what he feels someone, who suspects a fake has been passed, should do. “The middle ground we advocate is, upon seeing a questionable piece, contact the seller privately and explain, in a matter-of-fact manner, all that is known. To pass along the knowledge can spare the embarrassment and financial exposure of the dealers, as well as help keep fakes out of the market.”
Fine, well and good RK says but what if the dealer is too ignorant or greedy to accept the facts about his questionable item? Also what if the buyer refuses to credence contrary information about her purchase?
This is the situation RK.com now finds itself enmeshed in and after much deliberation we have decided to go public with the story.
LACMA’s rug, which is now on view in the Museum, is nothing more in our estimation than a late period reproduction, made long after the fact. Was it intentionally made to fool or was it made as homage to the Golden Age of rug weaving in Turkey, circa 1400-1650, when the archetype for LACMA’s later piece was produced?
Frankly RK.com doesn’t care – the fact remains it is a reproduction and not circa 1600.
It rather pathetically tries to reproduce the real form and, to anyone with considerable expertise in early Turkish Carpets, it doesn’t do a very good job even at that.
Let’s take a few minutes to examine this rug in this light. Here are a few points worth noting:
1. The monotonous coloration of this rug is the first and most obvious error. Basically it’s a red, white and blue weaving that lacks large color areas with the key choice colors – purple and green – that all masterpiece Early Turkish rugs display. The coloration also renders and limits the rug to a boring two dimensional portrait, whereas genuine weavings of this period all demonstrate the ability to create that all important third dimension.
2. The all-too balanced and repetitious placing of minor borders (with the same design on either side of the main border) is a characteristic rarely seen in early Turkish rugs but rather in those made circa 1750/1800 and afterwards. Instead, the basic and universal single minor border layout is almost religiously followed, but when there are two minor borders, they are always different.
3. The unknown 'design' (11 above, 10 below) repeated across the two additional borders, or elem at the top and bottom of the rug, are also highly suspicious and weird. They look as if they were lifted directly from an early 19th century yastic, they surely never graced a circa 1600 main carpet. Novice eyes might consider them a ' nice touch' but for experienced viewers they are wrong, wrong, wrong
4. The wonky and misshapen articulation the re-entrant design surrounding the field exhibits, especially on the lower left side, would never have been allowed by any 17th century weaver worth his or her salt. This type of uncontrolled drawing is frequently seen in late period reproductions, as well as out and out fakes.
5. The two ‘ghirlandaio medallions’ placed within the re-entrant areas display too much vertical compression and besides they lack the clarity of drawing captured by all real Classic Period Turkish rugs. Both of these are glaring errors characteristic of 19th century work and are not in any way associated with 17th century weaving.
6. This vertical compression continues in the two pairs of checkerboard designed triangles, which might be better described as horizontal spandrels, seen to the left and right of each of these ‘medallions’. Again this is indicative of 19th and not 17th century weaving.
7. The insipid, amorphous designs in each of the four lobes of the central white medallion, as well as that within the small blue ground interior one, are truly comical. Rather than veritable iconography, which is what every other a four lobed central medallion on any genuine example would contain, here the lack of visible iconographic content is woefully obvious and borders on the ridiculous. Again this is typical of late 18th/19th century work. Were this actually a 17th century weaving this area would display a potent icon, a far more complex motif or be empty -- go compare this rug with the real ones. There is no comparison.
8. Surrounding them, another medallion is suggested by connecting the 12 small blue ‘star-like’ lozenges with a thin ,single blue outline or trellis. While this convention was used in the 17th century, the actual infill of these ‘star-like’ lozenges and the trellis itself would have combined to create a third dimension. They would have been drawn with far more detailed articulation and again, this lack of detail signals this carpet’s late period reproduction status.
9. The light and breezy drawing of the main border, which could definitely be features found in a genuine 17th century Turkish rug, are, in this case, the complete antithesis of the cloddy and heavy hand the rest of the carpet exhibits. Again it would be impossible to find a circa 1600 Turkish rug with this glaring differential in drawing style.
10. When the proportions of the constituent parts of this rug are carefully examined and compared to each other, as well as to a genuine rug of its alleged period of production, RK.com can not see how anyone could believe it is anything other than a copy. The proportions are altogether wrong and this, more than any other characteristic, contributes to the two dimensionality this rug projects.
(11/7/2007 We have since stated for the record seeing it "in person", at a distance of about 10-20 feet during an exhibition preview in Philadelphia)
We grant: RK.com has not seen in person or handled the dodds/LACMA piece. But because early Turkish rugs follow certain universal criteria and because those criteria are nonexistant or have been violated here, we don’t think, we know, this rug is a later period copy or an outright fake.
These are pretty strong words and we are prepared to back them up with more proof should that ever be required.
Let’s now review what RK.com has already done to bring this to the attention of the parties involved.
First off RK.com called LACMA and after speaking to several of the Museum’s staff we spoke directly with Dale Gluckman, the curator of Costume and Textile. After telling her the rug was, at best, a late period reproduction and enumerating the points mentioned above, Rk.com told her we would be glad to help the Museum convince mr. dodds to rescind the purchase and return the price paid. She asked for some time to “think it over” and we agreed to a week.
During this intermission RK.com called mr dodds and informed him our belief the carpet was a later period reproduction, at best early 19th century work. We also told him of our intent to help LACMA, should it wish, to have him rescind the sale. As would be expected from someone like dodds, who has offered and sold weavings RK.com has publicly questioned as incorrectly described or dated, he laughed at our concerns saying we were “…just a voice in the wind.”
We have news for mr dodds, we may be a voice in the wind but that wind will soon have hurricane proportions.
We waited the week, actually 8 days, and spoke with Dale Gluckman, who also didn’t surprise us with her reticence to re-examine the rug’s purchase objectively and in light of the points we raised in our first conversation.
Dale Gluckman knows nothing about early Turkish rugs and she readily admits it! Seems the Museum enlisted the ‘expertise’ of walter denny to vet this purchase. They also relied on several other ‘names’ in the rug world but RK.com cannot reveal those persons presently, although the situation may force us to in the future.
LACMA’s other curators, there is by the way an Islamic Department where their Ardebil rug, as well as many other Islamic weavings and objects, are held, but it seems this department and others have deferred from the get-go to Ms Gluckman of Costume and Textiles. They all have remained, quite intelligently in RK.com’s estimation, out of the fray.
So there you have it – a dealer of goods that are no stranger in raising questions - selling for an exorbitant price a questionable rug to an uniformed museum curator, who sought the advice of walter denny. A sad, sad day for LACMA, not to mention the rug world in general.
Oh, just for the record: RK.com has learned LACMA’s almost $300,000.oo rug was previously and publicly offered by mr dodds two years ago at a Show in San Francisco for $85,000.oo. This comes directly from someone who inquired the price of the rug at that show.
If this isn’t the icing on the cake, we surely don’t know what could be.
But RK.com is sure of one thing - our outing dodds, denny and LACMA’s rug will create a disturbance and, we sincerely hope it will.
For not only is $300,000.oo a lot of spare change but having a obvious late period reproduction carpet displayed in a world famous, and rightly so, museum like LACMA does little to enhance the chances for public recognition of Oriental Rugs. And that, dear readers, is what this is all about.
Thu, Jun 23rd, 2016 04:18:23 AM
Today is no anniversary of the rueful day the Collector's Committee of the Los Angeles County Art Museum, better known as LACMA, authorized the fraud-filled 250,000 dollar purchase of the late genre period reproduction 'bellini' rug dennis dodds had unsuccessfully been trying to sell for more than 20 years. But it is a day worth remembering.
The naive and trusting people of LACMA's Collector's Committee, whose names read like a roll-call of rich important Los Angeleans many of whom are on LACMA's board of directors, fell hook line and sinker for the spurious speil Dale Gluckman, the long dismissed former curator thanks to her believing dodds's lies and inadvertently participating on of the greatest museum frauds of the 21st century, told them.
When RK first contacted Gluckman and others at LACMA they refused to believe the truth -- dodds's 'bellini' was not anything like the deceitful lies and hyperbole he fed them.
Of course, years later they all found out that truth, know it now, and the modus operandi in situations like this is hide the damage in a sub-basement and never discuss it again.
So, now a dozen years later, dodds as we hear it is sick and dying. Good for him, couldn't happen to a nicer guy.
But before he goes to meet his Maker and face the dastardly deeds he has perpetrated, the LACMA rip-off just the most famous of them, RK thinks it time dodds publicly apologizes for what he did and offer to make it right by taking back the bogus bellini and returning the 250K to LACMA's Collectors Committee.
Or, all you rugDUMB sheeple should talk this up, write to LACMA by email, fax or post and express your dismay and indignation at what dodds did. Better late than never.
Lord knows its now time for dennis the cheat, thief and con-man carpetbagger dodds to be held accountable.
Trust RK on this one: What dodds did set back institutional interest in historic oriental carpets for at least a generation, not only in America but world-wide.
Nice going dodds, you greedy slob.
Sun, May 8th, 2011 01:39:22 PM
dennis dodds is a THIEF, a LIAR and a CHEAT.
Not to mention a bogus rug-expert and a turko-know-little.
It is completely disgusting he has any position in rugDUMB, let alone a leading one.
All you people are complete idiots not to demand dodds be ejected and chastised for his revoltingly deceitful LACMA rip-off.
Mon, Apr 25th, 2011 12:03:45 AM
It is now 7 years since that carpet-bagging cheat dennis dodds blatantly conned and ripped-off the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Soon dodds and most of the other "important" people in rugDUMB will assemble in Stockholm Sweden for the icoc.
This will be a perfect opportunity for anyone, and everyone, who has some sense of honor and decency to confront dodds and his cronies and demand some answers why this issue has escaped honest public review.
Of course RK realizes this will, most probably, never happen as the silent as lambs sheeple who populate rugDUMB are too timid and scared to ever question someone who has the "reputation" of a dennis dodds.
This attitude is self-defeating and destructive.
Simply put, and this is surely not the first time RK has said this, what dodds did is well know in the museum world and it has reverberated through many curatorial departments and board rooms.
This has retarded an already reluctant museum world's interest in oriental carpets and while dodds escaped scott-free the oriental rug world will for decades to come pay the price for his dishonesty and brazen deceit.
Anyone who does not believe this is foolish and in denial.
RK is tired of trying to right the wrong dodds's greed and rugDUMB's hierarchy's approval of it has caused. And we are even further disgusted by the tacit approval every oriental rug dealer and collector has also given by remaining silent.
Get off your butts and do something. RK can promise if rugDUMB begins to clean its house of the lice and rodents, like dennis dodds, the museum world will take notice and eventually this will further institutional and public interest in the subject.
Keep quiet and there is little to no chance you will, in your lifetimes, see major institutional interest.
Think RK is just mouthing off? Watch and see...
Sat, Dec 11th, 2010 04:40:51 AM
The fact the Los Angeles County Art Museum got screwed and ripped off by dennis aka the menace dodds and are hiding the rug in the deepest and darkest bowels of their basement hasn't changed a thing.
The fact dodds got away with this rip-off without any comment or censure from rugDUMB hasn't changed either.
The fact dodds is nothing but a common criminal who used deception and deceit to profit has not changed as well.
Don't you all think it is about time to speak up about this and pull dodds, that liar and cheat, onto the carpet and make him face public outrage and censure for what he did?
We know all about dodds and his tricky thieving carpet-bagging machinations; and as long as a creep and sleaze-bag like dodds is in rugDUMB, let alone the "chairman" of the icoc, no one in any position of importance in the art world will ever take oriental rugs seriously.
Nice going, dodds you disgusting excuse for a human being, your thievery and deception has ruined it for all of us.
RK would say dodds should be ashamed but we know him well enough to know he has no shame, and even if he did it is overwhelmed by his greed and phony as a three dollar bill bullshit belief in his own self importance.
Thu, Jul 8th, 2010 07:22:30 AM
RK considers our crusade to bring truth and honesty to bear on dennis the thief and liar dodds for his cheating the Los angeles County Art Museum(LACMA) in selling them a late genre period reproduction 'bellini' as a masterpiece 16th example one of our biggest concerns in rugDUMB.
RK also brought this crusade to encourage LACMA's directors to honestly admit they were cheated by dodds and, of course, to attempt to force dodds to return the 250,000 dollars he basically stole from the donor organization who was fed a bill of goods and bought the carpet not knowing the truth about it.
Seems no one in rugDUMB is interested in truth or honesty, a fact which does not surprise RK as we have witnessed a number of other similar fiasco, debacle and rip-offs but the fact this was done by dodds, a high profile name, to a major and important public institution like LACMA makes the facts of the case far more egregious and unforgettable.
In the latest issue of that worthless rag hali we saw the following notice:
"Thomas Farnham delves further into the history of LACMA’s Coronation carpet"
To call this sacrilegious strains RK's understanding of right and wrong.
Because those numbskulls at hali should be publishing an article condemning dodds for cheating LACMA and also dunning LACMA for participating in the cover up they have organized as a puny attempt to avoid responsibility for the lack of due diligence their former employee in the costume and textile department made by trusting dodds's lying expertise; as well as the vetting done by jon thompson, louise mackie and Walter Denny who vouched for the bellini's and dodds's bogus assertions it was 16th century, a masterpiece of its type, and get this, never for sale before the offer to LACMA.
No, no, instead of looking at the Coronation Carpet hali should be looking into dodds's theft and the museum's continuing cover-up of that theft.
Some months ago, jon thompson was invited to LACMA to give a talk on the Coronation and Ardebil Carpets which would have been the perfect opportunity to publicly deal with this issue.
But OH NO they avoided it like an open sewer and thompson almost got away unscathed.
RK says almost because we planted an actor and a video camera in the audience and at the end of the talk our actor asked thompson about the 'bellini.
Immediately thompson became agitated and asked "What bellini?" and when the actor told him the one LACMA received as a donation in 2004, thompson refused to discuss it in "public" but said he would talk in private about it to him.
We have that little talk on tape and will soon post it online for all to see.
And trust us it makes thompson look guilty as a thief caught red-handed robbing a gas station at midnight.
So stay tuned for the video and how about some of you RugKazbah readers picking up a pen, or emailing, hali and tell them in no uncertain terms the dodds/LACMA bellini rip-off needs to be addressed and done asap.