The following video recording was made of dr. jon thompson speaking at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art(LACMA) on December 5, 2009.
He was invited to speak about the Ardabil carpet in conjunction with its reinstallation after cleaning and restoration.
For those readers unfamiliar with the saga of the two Ardabil carpets, one is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, England and the other in Los Angeles at LACMA.
Basically, as the story goes, both were in rather poor condition when discovered so the decision was made by Vincent Robinson, the famous turn of the 19th /20th century English carpet dealer and the man who bought the Ardabils, to take the one in better condition and restore it using part of the one in worse condition.
This was done and the V&A got that one – the better one --, the other after having been in several private collections finally ended up at LACMA.
RK found it completely dishonest of LACMA to invite thompson to talk about anything other than his role in the dennis dodds bogus ‘bellini' carpet affair.
So we hired an actor and videographer to go to thompson's lecture and during the question and answer period after his talk to confront thompson and inquire about his role in vetting the bogus dodds ‘bellini' carpet that entered LACMA in 2004.
Let's all remember thompson, along with louise mackie and professor walter denny, affirmed to the now disgraced and unemployed LACMA Costume and Textile department curator, Dale Gluckman, that the dodds ‘bellini' carpet was 16th century, a masterpiece of its type and a museum worthy object.
This was what dodds had told and written Gluckman, and with the OK from thompson, mackie and denny, she went ahead and championed the bogus bellini for purchase by the Collector's Committee, a group of private benefactors organized by LACMA.
The carpet was then purchased by the group for $250,000 and donated to LACMA.
It was not until RK began our campaign to make the truth public -- that the ‘bellini is neither 16th century, nor a masterpiece of its type and surely not a museum worthy object -- that anyone questioned the purchase.
The rest is history, and RK has written much about this disgusting and dishonest rip-off dennis dodds engineered and successfully managed to accomplish.
Here is the URL where much of what RK has written and proven about the lies and dishonesty dodds used has been documented.
We direct readers there for much more information and background on the bellini, dennis dodds, and the museum's cover-up of their errors and the Museum's lack of fiduciary responsibility to the Collector's Committee, who purchased the bogus bellini based on dodds's lies and ridiculous claims.
So let's now listen in to the question and answer session at the end of thompson's talk where RK's actor asks dr thompson some questions and our videographer records his replies.
A script of the audio follows each of the three video sections RK has chosen from the original video.
And at the end is a compilation of the three sections.
Thompson: And the next one, let's see.
Someone in the Audience: When the V&A carpet was put back together, and the ends added were repaired from having been cut down, was that whole end section the original…piece…or was it taken from the LACMA carpet?
Thompson: It was taken from the top of the LACMA carpet…and part of the sides
After thompson answers another question or two our actor gets into the picture
Thompson: Next question
RK's Actor: Yes, I know you are speaking about the Ardabil carpet right now but could you manage to speak about the bellini carpet?
Then, before thompson can answer, Linda Kamaroff, LACMA's curator of Islamic Art chirps in and says:
No we are not going to be talking about that today. If you would like to ask dr thompson about that afterwards that would be fine.
RK's Actor: OK, thank you
Thompson: Which bellini carpet?
RK's Actor: The bellini carpet that was purchased by the museum in 2004.
Thompson: No, not interested.
Then a voice from the audience Why?
So thompson does not want to talk about the bellini, but after the question and answer session our actor and videographer will go to talk with him.
So the actor waits for the finish of the question and answer, and then walks to meet thompson as he leaves the stage.
Actor: Dr. thompson, why did you not want to speak to me about the bellini carpet
Thompson: I don't know who you are and this is a contentious issue, which I am not going to enter into. I am sorry.
A security guard then entered the room and asked our actor to leave.
Yes, it is a contentious issue for thompson but what is not contentious is the fact the bellini is bogus and thompson and the others should never have approved its purchase.
So, in fact, there is no contention, as no one believes the dodds bellini is 16th century, a masterpiece of its type or a museum worthy object.
It's only contentious for them -- thompson, mackie and denny -- and for thompson to say it is contentious is nothing but a way to weasel out of his error and central role in the debacle.
The fact thompson does not want to talk about it, and his approving the purchase, is as dishonest as dodds ripping off the museum.
Tue, Oct 4th, 2016 01:07:43 AM
While jon thompson is not as guilty as dodds in the 'bellini' caper, he does bear responsibility.
But like dodds thompson refuses to even discuss his stupidity and who knows what other motives for telling LACMA's curator Dale Gluckman dodds's 'bogus bellini' carpet was a museum worthy, 16th century masterpiece.
Of course had he told her the truth, and RK is pretty sure he knows it now but did not know it then, Gluckman would never have proceeded to champion its purchase.
But now that thompson surely knows dodds's rug is a late genre period reproduction he should, as Walter Denny did, come out and publicly announce his mistake.
It is clear, however, jon thompson has the moral and ethics of a slug. His me-first attitude is not only unbecoming it is sleazy beyond belief.
The video RK produced shows thompson dodging questions about the bellini but he does state "it's a contentious issue".
Frankly, there is no contention about it except for thompson who OK'ed the puchase of an inferior, over-priced, rug that dodds could not sell to anyone after almost 25 years of trying.
Nice going, jon thompson, you piece of crap. Enjoy your ignominy.
Thu, Apr 3rd, 2014 02:45:41 PM
When asked about the bogus bellini thompson replied "it's a contentious issue" and he did not want to speak about it.
RK suggests jon thompson get a shovel, dig a deep hole, and then get in it and cover himself up.
Perhaps then he will not ever have to deal with it again.
What a bogus bunch of crapola, thompson, have you no shame?
Fri, Sep 21st, 2012 07:03:47 AM
If watching this video after understanding its background and meaning doesn't make you reconsider just exactly why dr jon thompson enjoys such an excellent reputation in rugDUMB you are either blind to reality, drunk on too much ruggie kool-aid, or just afraid to honestly assess the facts.
As we have written before in any other art collecting field someone with dr jon thompson's resume of serious errors would have been sidelined long ago.
Only in rugDUMB could a flawed, conniving, academic poseur like thompson continue to traipse from rug society to rug society giving "lectures" while remaining unscathed by those errors of judgement, both academic and personal.
There is no doubt dennis dodds is a crook and thompson, mackie and denny aided his hijacking 250,ooo dollars from LACMA's Collector Committee.
Like dodds, thompson's role in favorably vetting the bogus bellini is equally as damning and proves his dubious ethics and carpet knowledge.
But it is thompson's refusal to discuss what he did, and continue the coverup, that is even more damning.
And what more proof is needed than our video?
Wed, Jul 27th, 2011 12:43:57 AM
Only in rugDUMB could a person like dr jon thompson enjoy the reputation he does.
Let's all remember thompson's Imreli imbroglio, which would have been enough in any other art area to destroy a reputation beyond repair.
It was not his mistake in attempting to assign the Imreli provenance to some Turkmen weavings. It was the lack of proper documentation and evidence offered.
But even worse, was thompson's excuse -- that it was only done as a type of farce or provocation -- when he was confronted by others over his errors.
Then there is the bogus bellini and thompson's stupid approval of ridiculous claims dodds made and, of course, the purchase itself.
Even professor walter denny, another so-called rug expert who approved the purchase, shortly thereafter came out and changed his opinion to agree with RK's.
There is little doubt, dr. jon thompson is a grifter and a carpet-bagger, whose errors, greed and self-interested actions, will be his epithet.
Our video makes clear the dishonest bend dr thompson travels, as any honest person would have admitted fault.
Think about this and why rugDUMB allows someone like thompson, or a dennis dodds, to escape question and censure.