In the first article of the latest edition of that rag hali Daniel Shaffer, the only staff member who knows anything about antique rugs and carpets, tries to make nice over the bloody sore spot the butchering of George Hewett’s Textile Museum(TM) has caused.
RK has yet to hear anyone, Shaffer included, who is gung-ho over the ditching of the TM’s former home in two immensely stately Georgetown embassy row houses for a rather nondescript modern purpose built, and cheaply at that, new “home” on the campus of George Washington University(GWU).
We called it a butcher job because that new home is just for ‘exhibitions’ and the TM’s world-famous, and justly so, collection is now housed many miles away in a supposed state-of-the-art storage facility on GWU’s other campus in Virginia.
The easily criticized opening exhibition, what else to call the hodge-podge of amateurish pairings of masterwork historic weavings with others far less important or memorable under the rubric “Textiles as Identity Markers” aptly demonstrates everyone involved from the chairman of the TM’s board, bruce big mouth baganz, to the rest of the equally bloated and stiff as cadavers board members, to the museum’s know nothing about weavings director, to its still wet behind the ears curators, has no idea nor little aptitude to steer a collection like the TM’s in the present or God-forbid into the future.
Shaffer noted the same “Arguably a more apt and potent theme for an inaugural exhibition might have been a simplier and, to my mind at lest, more compelling ‘Masterpieces from the Collection’ show, presenting great rugs and textiles on their own merit, rather than trying to shoehorn them into such artificial categories.
Hear, hear brother Daniel.
But the truth of such elementary logic is way beyond the mini-mind of a promoter like baganz and his multitude of extravagant sounding plans, which all turned out to be nothing but stupid hair-brained schemes, that landed the TM in the precarious financial position that forced the shot-gun marriage with GWU.
Mind you for almost 15 years baganz and his cronies on the board frittered away precious TM funds on those schemes. Perhaps the most ludicrous and expensive was baganz’s plan to purchase a vacant plot of land next to the Lincoln Memorial and build a new museum for the TM there.
RK has heard more than 1.5 million dollars were wasted on feasibility studies, down payments, etc because baganz’s proposed financing was just more big-mouthing that never in the end probably ever really existed.
Of course that rag hali will never tell this to readers but bravo for Shaffer to at least comment on the foolishly amateurish inaugural exhibition “…while “Unraveling Identity” may be the TM’s biggest-ever exhibition, it is perhaps hard to bill it as the best ever, which it could have been.”
Sorry, big-mouth bruce and the TM board of directors, bigger is not necessarily better and in your case proved to be pathetically so.
Shaffer comments “The physical move…is just the first step. More importantly, the new location and facilities offer a better-than- ever-before opportunity for the museum’s curators, present and future, to reveal carpet and textile art to a wider national and international public world…”
Well, this might be true for curators of the future but RK sincerely doubts the bumble-brained ones of the present who conceived and created the stillborn “Unraveling Identity” inaugural birth will ever be able to midwife anything better.
And we know Shaffer is waxing poetic in thinking the present crop of curatorial lackeys big mouth bruce has assembled will ever be able to create what Shaffer rightly believes will be necessary to do that “…an ongoing programme of imaginatively conceived and staged exhibitions and publications primarily based on the institution’s own collections.”
Never missing an opportunity to plug its own agenda for spilling coins into its own coffers Shaffer ends his article by dutifully hyping the proposed next so-called ICOC planned for Washington DC, which RK has already christened “icoc Lite, or Not at All”.
Please note while it was a shadow truth in the past it is now as bright as a sunny day obvious the icoc=hali and hali=icoc. Doubt this and remain a luddite ruggie who is drunk on kool-aid from that rag hali's tap.
But back to the TM: Time has run out on bullshit baganz and the TM atrophied arsehole board of directors.
Everyone can now see the move to GWU was nothing but a last-ditch big step down from Myer’s two elegant mansion buildings, and the first exhibition in the new quarters proves all and every contention RK has levied for the past decade: These people are pompous morons masquerading as saviours, who have saved nothing and done nothing but take down everything George Hewitt Myers built and endowed for future generations. Shame, shame…