Home > Archive >Hard to Forget, Painful to Remember
Wed, Jun 10th, 2015 08:40:57 AM
Topic: Hard to Forget, Painful to Remember

Eleven years ago, in March 2004, dennis dodds lied and cheated his way into selling his late, genre period circa 1750 at best 'Bellini' rug to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Collectors Committee who donated it to the museum.

After foolishly believing dodds that the rug was 16th century, and having this corroborated by Walter Denny, jon thompson and louise mackie, Dale Gluckman, the museum's textile and costume curator championed the 'Bellini's' purchase by the Collectors Committee.

Alot has happened in the ensuing 11 years -- within a year Gluckman was fired from her job, the head of the museum Andrea Rich 'retired', Walter Denny recanted, admitted his error in dating it to the 16th century and changed his position to the rug being made circa 1650 - 1750 "...but at the end of that continuum", LACMA's head scientist, Dr. Mark Gilberg, wrote up a specious report attempting to confirm the early dating without one shred of evidence scientific or not, and LACMA began as unsuccessfully to cover up their errors and misrepresentations.

The 'Bellini' was exhibited at LACMA in Jan 2005.

The following was the caption describing the rug at that time. It was copied off the internet on 2.22.05 from this URL in LACMA's website, and is no longer there.


Exhibition Wall Label from "Luxury Textiles, East and West":

"Turkey, Anatolia, Konya region
Double-Niche Carpet
16th century"

" In sixteenth-century Europe, carpets from Turkey were luxury imports. Rarely placed on the floor, however, these richly patterned textiles were draped over tables, beds, or chests to proclaim the wealth and status of their owners. The natural dyes in this carpet are barely faded, providing a rare opportunity to experience their original vibrancy. The clear shapes and clean lines of the carpetís design give it an unusually strong architectural quality.

Knotted wool pile on wool foundation
98 1/2 x 64 1/2 in. (250.19 x 163.83 cm)
Gift of the 2004 Collectors Committee
Currently on public view
Department Costume and Textiles
Place Turkey, Anatolia, Konya region"

Even though at this time LACMA's administration knew the rug was hundreds of years later they continued to try and cover-up the fact and their complicity in fraudulently presenting it to the Collectors Committee for purchase.

Fast forward to 2015, here is LACMA's description of the 'Bellini' as it currently appears on their website:

Finally admitting dodds's 'Bellini' is not 16th century a decade after purchasing it might to some imply LACMA has faced the fact they got cheated. This interpretation appears to RK to be undeniable, as does the fact dodds description of it as a museum worthy object or a masterpiece of its type was anything but ignorant at best and at the worst complete lies.

LACMA is a rich museum and those belonging to the Collectors Committee are also wealthy so they all can well afford to have lost the 250,000 dollar purchase price.

And while we are sure few if any of those on the Collectors Committe even know they were cheated LACMA's administration surely does. And the reality they allowed dodds to lie and cheat his way into pawning off this rug on them, without any attempt to recind the sale, speaks volumes to a common practice in the museum world.

Better to suffer silently being cheated and retain a false aire of invulnerability than admit it and look stupid.

However, acknowledging the 'Bellini' is not circa 1550 but 1750 shows to any thinking individual just that.

And before what looked like her forced retirement Andrea Rich instructed her second in command to tell us "Even though we now know the 'Bellini' is circa 1750, and not 1550, it is still a pretty rug".

If this is not the stupidest statement any museum offical has ever made we cannot fathom what would be able to surpass it.

Author: G.Tasch
email: erguart@hotmail.ca
Wed, Jun 10th, 2015 08:40:57 AM

RK Replies:

Greetings Gustave and thanks for your words.

At that time the 'Bellini' was surely owned by dodds, and if franses was showing it he must have been doing it on dodds's behalf.

The 'Bellini' originally belonged to michael franses. This was something RK long suspected until our suspicion was confirmed by dodds himself when he admitted in print getting it from him.

RK is sure you, and most other readers, have read our exposing a number of similar over-dated and over-rated Turkish village-type rugs michael franses recently tried to sell to the fictional Gunter Raps.

There is absolutely no doubt michael franses has alot of experience calling 18th and 19th century rugs 16th and 17th century.

His advertisements fill pages of early issues of that rag hali with similar late genre period reproductions masquarading as being centuries earlier.

Fact is he and dodds are both too rug challenged to be able to discern these copies from the real thing.

This is because neither of them really knows enough about the subject but they should after their many unsuccessful efforts to sell these pieces that have long remained in their inventory.

Caveat emptor


Incidentally, I saw ,and examined manually this rug ,which was exhibited by Michael Frances at the Olympia Rug Fair in London in the early 2000sds.

The lower third of the rug was all new ,added by some restorer,a poor job at that.It felt stiff and new, more like a 'DOBAG' rug, The entire piece looked as phony as the proverbial 3 $ bill.

Ever since then,my respect for Mr.Frances who had the shameless audacity to offer this piece for sale, instantly evaporated.

Author: jc
Wed, Jun 10th, 2015 04:05:18 AM

Greed is a powerful emotion. We are all subject to it.

However, those of us with conscience, consciousness and regard for the future and other human beings are able to balance those virtues with a vice like greed.

It is painfully obvious dennis dodds has no conscience, no consciousness, no regard for the future or other human beings for to do what he did destroys any doubts to the contrary.

After trying the sell the 'Bellini' for twenty plus years with no success even a rug know little like dodds had to realize it was not what, or even close, to what he believed.

And the dishonorable act of then pretending it was not so to a gullible and trusting LACMA curator becomes even worse.

The above, and all the other words RK has published about this sorrid affair, are true and fact -- dennis dodds is a liar, a con man, and in the end a thief.

He deserves to be censured and reviled not feted and supported.

Soon dodds will die, the sooner the better as far as RK is concerned, and rugDUMB will eugalize him in glowing and positive terms, as a number of others have been.

Nowhere will l'affaire bellini get mention. But RK's truth saying will always be there for all with open eyes to see.

To call dodds a stinking scumbag sullies those words.

Author: Henry Sadovsky Tue, Jun 9th, 2015 02:36:51 PM

That's a nice summary Jack. Thank you.

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