OK, let’s pickup from where we left off.
“He(franses) currently consults and pursues scholarly writing through new publications.
This press release makes it appear franses is a major figure in both publishing books and writing them.
We quote from the press release:
“ Michael Franses, renowned textile publisher and scholar…” and “Michael Franses is the author and publisher of numerous books and periodicals related to the textile arts.”
Well, maybe this sounds good in the tooth fairy world the textile museum has long been mired in but, in reality, describing franses’s efforts thusly is, in fact, nothing but hyperbole and exaggeration.
Here is a list, from franses’s own website of the publications he has “written”, helped to write, published or helped to publish.
1. Kaitag, Textile Art from Daghestan
Text by Robert Chenciner. 1993
2. Swedish Textile Art, Traditional Marriage
Weavings from Scania, The Khalili Collection. 1996
3. Dunhuang, Caves of the Singing Sands, Buddhist Art from the Silk Road
Text by Roderick Whitfield. 1996
2 vol. 356 pages
4. The Great Embroideries of Bukhara
Text by Michael Franses. 2000
5. Lion-dogs, Hundred Antiques: Classical Chinese Carpets 1
Text by Michael Franses, Hans Koenig, Hwee Lie Thè, Gary Dickinson. 2000
6. Recent Excavations of Textiles in China
edited by Zhao Feng. 2002
13th to 18th Centuries, Treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar
text by Jon Thompson. 2004
8th to 17th Centuries, Treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar
text by Mariam Rosser-Owen. 2004
9. Magic Feathers, Textile Art from Ancient Peru
Text by James W. Reid. 2005
380 pages, 50,000 word text
10. Glanz der Himmelssoehne, Kaiserliche Teppiche aus China 1400-1750
Text by Michael Franses and Hans Koenig. German language. 2005
11. Vok Collection: Suzani 2
text by Ignazio Vok, Jakob Taube. 2006
Even a cursory examination of the stats franses’s own list provides demonstrates what bogus nonsense this press release tries to float.
Of the 11 titles stretching from 1993 to 2006 (13 years) only ONE, that’s right only one of these ‘tomes’, was written by franses and only for two others was he a co-author.
Some deep scholar, huh.
Plus the one he did author alone “Flower Power, The Great Embroideries of Bukhara” (its full title) was nothing but a short survey that was in fact actually a sales catalog done in conjunction with a selling exhibition franses organized at Colnaghi Gallery in London as part of 2000 Asian Art Fair in London.
The same could be said about “Under the Scholar's Table, Lion-dogs and Hundred Antiques Carpets of China, 1600--1750" (its full title) which was also an exhibition franses organized at Colnaghi Gallery as part of Asian Art Fair in London, 1999.
None of the other nine publications have any of franses’s, the supposed great rug-scholar, words in them, save another on Chinese rugs co-authored with Hans Koenig.
Now RK does not know who wrote what but we’ll be glad to wager dollars to donuts Koenig, who is and deserves to be called a “scholar” of Chinese carpets, and not franses, did most of the heavy lifting to produce the 228 page text.
So, please anyone, tell RK, where is the great bibliography a renowned scholar should have?
Where are the “…numerous books…related to the textile arts…” the press release credits to franses?
Again, only in tooth fairy land aka the textile museum’s little plot on land on K Street in Washington D.C.
Honestly, this press release is a pathetic snow-job, a bogus attempt to make a pig’s ear into a silk purse—shameful.
Again franses has done some work, this is true, but to bray to God’s Heaven about his meager production, first as an author and then as a publisher, is nothing but a shameful sham no self-respecting organization would ever try to pass off as fact.
OK, one might ask what did franses do prior to 1993 and the start of his “publishing company"?
Well, when the truth be knownst not a whole lot, and trust RK we know first-hand the facts of franses the “scholar” from the fiction he and others hallucinate.
RK was on the scene when hali was started, in fact franses offered us the job of being the American representative, which we turned down because we didn’t need a “job”.
And, by the way, RK was the one to suggest franses hire dennis dodds, who in 1974 was someone we knew and thought would be perfect in that position.
This is neither the time nor place to discuss dodds but franses did hire him and the rest is history.
We mention this to provide perspective for the next statement: It was Ian Bennett who ghost-wrote and penned most of the early hali articles, not franses.
Don’t believe us? Then go ask Bennett and quit calling RK a liar.
It is also rather curious franses’s bio does not include “Turkmen Studies” in his list of books.
After all he did co-author a couple of chapters with robert pinner, though most of the book reprinted the works of other authorities.
We don’t know why franses, or whomever wrote this nonsense press release, omitted it but perhaps it has something to do with the fact there was supposed to be a second volume that never appeared.
We can’t remember exactly but we do know franses did solicit orders from the public and honestly we can’t remember if those that did subscribe and paid for volume two in advance ever had their money refunded.
So, do you all now believe franses has been justly credited and properly portrayed in the press release?
We sure as shootin’ don’t.
But let’s get back to textile museum tooth fairy land and examine the remainder of the press release.
“Born in 1949 in Brighton, England, Michael Franses began his apprenticeship in the field of antique carpets and textiles in 1965, working with his father, who had rejoined the family business, S. Franses (carpets) Ltd.
In 1969 Franses and his father left the family firm to form their own partnership, Robert Franses & Son. Three years later, Michael Franses became managing director of a new company in London, The Textile Gallery. ”
Here again franses’s time working for the Hugh Moss gallery is omitted and not mentioned, like it did not happen, right? Sorry wrong.
Probably because franses wants to appear like he never worked for anyone, which is complete bullsnit.
Several catalogs were published by Hugh Moss gallery and franses does take credit for them elsewhere.
But, like jon the con thompson, who also omitted many references of his “past” in the bio he wrote and had published in the sotheby thompson collection auction catalog (RK has written about this on RugKazbah.com and it is still here for all to see), franses believed he could get away with it as well.
Sorry, wrong again -- too bad for little lord franses RK and others know the truth.
“In this position Franses acquired numerous important historical carpets and textiles and began to arrange exhibitions for museums and private collections.”
This is nothing but more unadulterated bullsnit, as in 1973/4 when RK met him, franses was running around trying to buy mostly 19th century Caucasian, Turkmen and Turkish rugs.
How does RK know this?
Because we sold many to him, many, many and we were also during this period, prior to 1980, rather privy to his inventory and what he and bought and sold as well.
Granted franses was always on the look-out for “important historical carpets and textiles”, who wasn’t even back then, but to portray him as dealing in those types of goods is nothing but more hyperbole and bullsnit – it just ain’t so.
“In the early1970s, Franses formed a textile conservation studio in London employing nine conservators, looking after historical carpets and textiles in many important private and museum collections. ”
This too is ridiculous nonsense as franses’s conservation studio, called “Longevity” was not in existence back then.
Yessshhh, who wrote this crapola, tinker-bell?
“In 1975, he co-founded the International Conference on Oriental Carpets, jointly organizing the first conference in London in 1976. ”
This is a half-truth as, and we quote the icoc website:
“Robert Pinner, the late founder of ICOC wrote: " ...it was decided to form a small committee, book a university lecture room to hold that number, send out invitations to some twenty or so lecturers and advertise the dates to potential participants. Six months later, having twice changed the venue, the conference opened with five hundred people overfilling the Jeannette Cochran Theatre, and emergency half-day bus tours arranged in the hope of tempting enough people away from the theatre to avoid breaking its fire regulations."
So, in fact, there was a “small committee” that organized the conference with franses and pinner as part of that committee.
As misleading as the press release is on this point it is far better than the majority of what is written therein.
“That same year he co-founded Hali, The International Journal of Oriental Carpets and Textiles, was the publisher, co-editor and principal shareholder until 1986.”
This is true and whether or not franses and not pinner, who put the original money up to start hali, was the majority stock-holder is a very minor point.
“He has since remained a consultant editor and regular contributor.
RK can excuse the press release omitting franses unloaded hali after he had tired of running the magazine and making no money (fact is dodds made more than everyone else as he was selling ads in America and pocketing nice commissions each issue).
And let RK shed some light as to why franses started hali.
He surely did not do it as a magnanimous gesture but rather because it put him in the center of the rug world and although he did not directly benefit financially from hali he benefited indirectly in many major ways as hali provided him with an inside track to buy and sell rugs, which was in fact his occupation and reason for doing it in the first place.
Everyone in the know is privy to the fact pinner needed something to do and franses needed to be the center of the business – a perfect marriage.
To say franses is a control-freak and someone who needs to be in the center of things is an understatement, as anyone who really knows him for a long time will also vouch.
Again, don’t believe what RK says? Go ask them and quit calling us a liar.
“In 1993 he established Textile & Art Publications to continue the dissemination of new research on textiles and other art forms.”
This, too, might read well in tooth fairy land, or to the eyes of those who are naïve, gullible or a rugDUMB newbie, but as his publishing company’s record shows this is an over-glorification of the fact.
Eleven books, many co-published with larger more established concerns, in thirteen years is nothing to brag about.
Again, we are not belittling franses work only pointing out the hyperbole and nonsense this press release is trying to float.
“Franses owned The Textile Gallery in London from 1971-2007, exhibiting at major art fairs all over the world and mounting numerous special exhibitions.”
This is also on the surface fact but organizing selling exhibitions in private galleries is something every dealer does and franses deserves little real credit for schlepping his wares here and there to try and sell them.
The press release makes it out to be a horse of a different color, while in reality it surely is something every motivated dealer has to do to try and sell his inventory.
“He closed his gallery three years ago and the following year closed his publishing company and became board chairman of Hali Publications Ltd.”
RK does not expect this press release to divulge franses’s reason(s) for closing his gallery and publishing company but RK has heard from someone who is very close to franses that he did it because he was losing a lot of money and had to stop the financial hemorrhaging before it ate up all that he had made dealing classical rugs in the Persian Gulf.
“His intention is to devote his autumn years to study and to putting his extensive archives in order and making these widely available.”
Like we said above, this sounds to RK like the same bogus excuse do nothing dan walker uttered when he was fired and summarily ejected from the director’s swivel-chair at the textile museum.
“He is currently working on a catalogue raisonné covering the early history of Chinese woven silk, from the Warring States to Northern Dynasties periods (475 BC—AD 580) and collaborating with scholar Elena Tsareva on The Birth of a Rug, a book charting the history of carpets before 1400.”
RK will be glad to bet them donuts to dollars franses will either have a co-author for the Warring States book, or never finish it, and we can’t wait to critique what he and
Tsareva have to say on the gestation of oriental carpets, if that tome also ever makes it into print.
“He is also assembling a catalogue raisonné of East Mediterranean carpets. He is working as editor of two volumes on the Khalili collection of Islamic carpets and textiles, and as editor and principal author of a publication of carpets in the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar.”
Again RK looks forward to seeing what franses produces and should any of it fall into our areas of expertise we will be glad to either congratulate him or dun him should he produce something that, like this press release, is nothing but fabrication based on a modicum of fact.
“Recently, in 2009, he was awarded the Joseph V. McMullan Award, presented by the Near Eastern Art Research Center, for his stewardship and scholarship of Islamic rugs and textiles.”
That “award”, like the Meyer’s, has been sullied by having dodds the thief and liar and thompson the charlatan and carpet-bagger as its recent recipients.
“Franses currently resides in Somerset and London with his wife, Jacqueline.
RK is sure many mini-minds in rugDUMB will disbelieve what we write, others will believe sour grapes and still many others will read what we wrote, scratch their noggins and just avoid really thinking about it.
But, as RK has said before, it’s dangerous to believe what rugDUMB believes although we also know it is far easier for rugDUMB to credence the tooth fairy nonsense this press release makes of franses “career” than to question it.
And therein lies the rub…