Reading the advertising for what is now being called "San Francisco Rug Week" is an exercise in hyperbole to say the least.
And for the, so-called in that advertising, "premier event", the bring-a-rug-put-it-on-the-bed Capri motel extravaganza, even worse.
Yesshhh, when will rug-people realize the only way to raise consciousness for old oriental rugs is through science, scholarship and museum exhibitions; not silly conferies like what will happen at the Capri?
The dullards behind the Capri thingy, and those who have hitched their wagons to it, must be dumber than the proverbial box of rocks if they believe a venue like a cheap motel off Lombard Street, where there are dozens of other cheap motels most of them mind you better and more expensive than the Capri, will attract anyone other than die-heard ruggies looking for a bargain.
RK feels sorry for dealers from far and wide who are spending thousands of dollars or euros shipping and getting their goods cleared through customs in the hopes of selling them to --who?
San Fransisco used to, mind you 20 and 30 years ago, have a large and interested audience for old oriental rugs but today, in today's economic climate, this is far from true.
Plus, the buyers who will come are those who can easily be reached by other means, like the interenet or auction.
So why traipse thousands of miles to hang out in a cheap, less than spotless, motel in the hopes of meeting someone new with a check-book?
RK has known from the get-go most, if not 99.9 percent, of those who call themselves oriental rug dealers are less than average in many ways, from their intelligence, knowledge about what they are selling, or their business and personal ethics -- and an event like this proves it in spades.
RK knows almost every one of the Capri motel exhibitors well, far better mind you than they might claim to know us, and what we wrote above does not pertain to all of them. However, it does pertain to many.
We see anyone going there, from more than say 6 hours away by car, to be making a foolish move -- the time, energy and money it takes could be far better spent in trying to stimulate sales.
And let's face fact that's what SF rug Week is all about --- selling inventory.
Sure, sure there are several sellers who are there primarily for the ride -- ie companionship, camaraderie and just a sense of being where the action is.
Sad to tell them as well there ain't gonna be much action other than lifting glasses and lighting pipes.
As a case in point, the Italian Sartirana rug fair, which has a beautiful ancient castle as a venue where commodious aisles and high ceilings allowed for proper display, attracted little interest and few visitors.
An out of the way location, something not present in the San Francisco event, surely had something to do with its lack of great success but it does demonstrate more, and much more, is need to attract the wide interest the hyperbolic advertising the SF Rug Week aims to stimulate.
Most, again if you will 90-99.9 percent, old rugs are not art, nor are they really collectible in a strict sense -- they are at best artisan inspired and produced decorative furnishing pieces.
And it will not be until this fact is digested and the few genuinely "important" examples are separated from the rest with the commensurate scientific and scholastic framework they urgently require, that old oriental rugs will do anything other than continue to languish as the forgotten child of the art world.
Frankly San Francisco rug week, the Capri motel rug show, or any of the other tag-along non-events, including what will happen at the deYoung museum, have about as much chance at raising that consciousness as an ice cream cone would have in a hot pizza oven.