Home > JC'S Corner >Through the RearView Mirror of Time: the rudnicks
Author:jc
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Sat, Nov 5th, 2016 09:40:55 AM
Topic: Through the RearView Mirror of Time: the rudnicks

RK feels it pertinent to offer our readership, particularly newer readers, a review through the rearview mirror of what we have said and published about mitchell and rosalie rudnick, whose collection dispersal at auction has been a RugDumb topic of conversation for the past few weeks.

Like many wealthy ‘collectors’, or should we call them: hoarders -- investors – suckers – or other epithets we could conjure up – the rudnicks spent decades, actually three plus, passionately traipsing to every major auction, icoc/acor, and any and all other rug events. Not to mention hounding well-known dealers, and never being shy to open up the checkbook mitchell rudnick inherited when told to by them.

Regrettably, the ruGniks did not open it wide enough to bag a number of important pieces they could have acquired over those years. Was this because they were too penny wise and pound foolish, because they did not really trust the opinions of their various advisors, or just because they never did know enough themselves.

RK will have to opine all three, but mostly the last tells the story.

The one time they did open that checkbook big and wide they got suckered into purchasing the totally over-restored and surely not one of the best Star Kazaks pictured in the first commentary below. This happened near the end of their rug buying career, a time when one have thought they had already learned enough to prevent such a disaster. Clearly they didn’t to the tune of the 275,000 dollars the Star Kazak is alleged to have cost.

So now their collection, minus the Star Kazak (and some other of the better pieces as we have heard it) will hit the auction block at the end of this month. Having already offered up our opinion about the sale we see no need to repeat it.

We do, though, feel it obligatory to repeat our opinion what a mistake people like the rudnicks, Vok, and as we have lately been hearing marshall and marilyn wolf who are supposedly seriously considering selling their alleged 1,000 rug plus hoard at sotheby NY beginning sometime next year, make by selling everything they collected instead of donating, even if that donation would only be the best few pieces.

Since none of these lucky people ever had to struggle to make a buck and could spend with abandon on any carpets they wished to own, it seems pointless, crass and stupid to sell the rug collections they so devotedly and doggedly pursued.

Anyway, no accounting for taste, especially among the tasteless.

the rudnicks AT BFA(Boston Museum of Fune Arts)

first published as Part Two: New Improved Issue of that rag hali ; May 8 2013

In our continuing commentary and critique of the new issue of that rag hali we felt it pertinent to add some words about the Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibiting rugs from local area collections.

For those of you who don’t know this museum has one of the finest collections of textiles in America, the majority of which were donated long years ago by Denman Waldo Ross.

It is definitely worth the trip for anyone who is a serious student or researcher of textile art.

Now onto a far more prosaic subject: Rugs from the rudnick collection on view at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Over the past few years, the latest issue of that rag hali informs readers, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts(BFA) has mounted several somewhat informal “shows” of oriental carpets.

The latest displays six Caucasian pile rugs from the collection of mitchell and rosalie rudnick, whose names should be familiar to most rug collectors.

The rudnicks, the article relates, have been collecting for thirty years. RK should add far more of their collection was exhibited at the Boston acor ‘conference’ about ten years ago.

There are also a number of their pieces illustrated in a publication called “Through the Collector’s Eye” which memorialized a carpet exhibition of the same name held in Rhode Island at the Rhode Island School of Design(RISD) in 1991.

RK has written about the rudnicks and their collection before and are sure our faithful longtime readers will recall our comments.

We must say we are somewhat surprised the BFA is exhibiting rugs from private collections, as for many reasons this practice is mostly frowned upon by other institutions.

And almost always the only time private collections are shown is when there is a pledge to donate, in full or part, to the exhibiting institution.

Or, less often the case, when the institution is trying to covet good will with collectors they want to become donors, either of their collections, financial support, or both.

RK does not know if this is the situation to bring the rudnick’s rugs to the hallowed rotunda area of the BFA.

Frankly, we would not be surprised if it were because we have heard rosalie rudnick has some health problems, and there is nothing like facing the grim reaper to make one think about a collection’s future.

Obviously, it is the wish of most collectors to have their collection enter a museum and since oriental rugs are not exactly a hot issue in the museum world – more are selling, ie deacquisitioning, than are buying ie acquisitioning, it is a problematic one for rug collectors.

And this trend does not appear to be diminishing, in fact it is accelerating, making it even more difficult.

There are a number of “reasons” for this which RK has heard from museum curators and professionals, not the least of which is space – rugs are big; curatorial issues – no one knows much about them; contamination issues – bugs like rugs; reputation – rug dealers are not professional. And these render the subject a must to avoid for many museum professionals.

So RK commends the BFA for their decision to buck the trend and exhibit carpets and textiles, for whatever reasons have motivated them.

The six rudnick rugs now hanging in the temporary exhibition are some of the best from their large collection.

And while we have little respect for the rudnicks after having had some close contact with them in the 1980’s, when we witnessed first hand what a big-mouth, know-little madame is and what a mouse in the house mr rudnick is, the glowing accolades the article shoves in their direction appear to us to be completely misdirected.

“After an intensive period of study” that rag hali tells everyone “they (the rudnicks) found their passion – early 19th century Caucasian rugs with village roots.”

Most rug collectors start out collecting Caucasian rugs because they are plentiful, easy to understand, and well published.

However, and this is pretty much a fact, collectors who are advanced, intelligent, independent, and able to walk a path without having their hand held invariably end up moving past their Caucasian rug habit and moving on to either Anatolian village rugs or Turkmen weavings.

Or, in cases where a large thick wallet in the collector’s pocket is a greater commodity than intellectual curiosity and art sensitivity into “classical” Ottoman and Safavid carpets.

RK, from that time of personal experience with the rudnicks, is not surprised they did not move on, and while we heard some years ago “mitchell is buying Turkmen pieces” we doubt seriously this ever happened past a minor foray or two on his part.

We are not downing the oeuvre -- Caucasian rugs -- some few of them are really worthwhile but basically we see them, and so does expert art historical analysis, as derivative far less original works than Anatolian or Turkmen weavings. Both of which granted are far more difficult to understand and appreciate.

They require a very high level of connoisseurship.

Caucasian rug don’t, and this is all we are trying to get across.

“Their (the rudnicks) philosophy was not to acquire every type, or a pile of rugs from one area; instead they wanted to create a collection with a sense of artistic merit.”

Following this explanation of credo rudnick that rag hali tells “They have certainly achieved that goal.”

“Artistic merit”, “beauty” and “I like it” are all varying levels of subjectivity; they are opinion, surely not fact.

So while the rudnicks, that rag hali and joe blow might believe there is “artistic merit” in the rudnick’s collection RK does not necessarily follow suit.

Now mind you the rudnick’s, thanks to mitchell’s inheritance -- he inherited a successful shoe business and later sold it as the story is told -- bagged a few really top flight Caucasian rugs.

They also have many more that are not so exemplary.

And as far as their knowledge-base? Well when we last chose to really have a conversation with them, circa 1989, they did not impress us with their rug savvy.

And honestly we would be surprised if they have progressed much since then. But accidents do happen.

“It is fitting” the article continues “that the MFA has chosen the Rudnicks’ carpets for its current exhibition – it recognizes an important New England collection and a couple who have contributed much to the rug world.”

Really?

What pray tell have the rudnicks done for the rug world other than feather their own nest, enrich several dealers who sold them their collection, and organize events where they were the centerpiece or at least one of them?

And not to our knowledge have the rudnicks ever written anything to further oriental rug studies, or even tried.

So much for any idea their “contribution” is anything but one more of that rag hali's empty utterances.

Ms Rudnick, and two other local collectors, “resuscitated the New England Rug Society”, and then she, according to what the article states, “…guided it through its first eight years.”

OK, she did that, and then ran it like her own, personal, fiefdom. Something given, a lot taken, might be the way to describe such a “contribution”.

“For many years Rosalie has been an important presence in the rug community.”

Well, please you twits and hypesters who work at publishing this over-complimentary drivel show us what important presence rosalie rudnick bestowed on the rug community?

You can’t.

That’s the issue here and why RK feels the need to ‘set the record straight’.

Stories abound about ms rudnick oversized ego and rabid passion to be a rug personality, and RK has a few to tell ourselves.

But why bother as the gospel that rag hali hath spoken, and all ears will only hear their ridiculous praise of this big-mouth, know-little, woman and her husband who bankrolled her desire to be a somebody in rugDUMB.

And, dear readers, that places this quote from the article much more correctly, “They have certainly achieved that goal.”

Oh, and before we move on to equally as questionably reportage we’d like to ask the rhetorical question: Is an overly restored, and not very good of its type, star Kazak something that has “artistic merit”.

And if so to whom does any meritorious compliment go – the original weaver or the restorer?

Star Kazak, rudnick collection

PS: for those readers who don’t know this is the rudnick star Kazak james, aka generous jim, burns pronounced a “fake” when he saw it.

Mr burns was wrong, it is not a fake.

It’s a kazak that has more new repiling than original knots.

RK has written about it, see “no star Star Kazak in the “Caucasian Rugs” Topic Area to read the full story.

NOT A STAR ON ANY CHRISTMAS TREE

previously published on rugkzbah.com


Soumak khorjin RK collection

As seasoned readers know RK has been involved in the oriental rug game, aka collecting antique oriental rugs for a long, long time.

In fact since 1966 when we purchased our first ‘old’ oriental rug at a Goodwill thrift store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for 12 dollars.

It was a Zarand district 4 x 6 foot Hamadan similar to one in a rug book.

But our second purchase, about two months later and after much more reading and study, was an early 19th century Marasali prayer rug with a flaming prayer arch and boteh in the field. We found it on the floor of an antique store on Charles Street in downtown Baltimore, Maryland and it cost a whopping 35 dollars.

But RK ain’t writing this to recount our collecting history, nor to extol the amazing availability and absurdly cheap prices interesting 19th century and earlier oriental rugs could be easily acquired for in the old days of yesteryear.

No, not at all. In fact what prompts this missive was our accidently coming across online a copy of the NERS(New England rug society) newsletter from November 2006 where a review of an exhibition of the rudnick Caucasian rug collection appeared.

Included was a picture of their ‘controversial’ star Kazak along with some comments which foolishly, well actually stupidly, gloss over this rug’s well earned dubious reputation.

the rudnick star Kazak

The rug, acknowledged by the review’s author, as well as many equally inexperienced pundits, as the “star” of the rudnick collection has an interesting history RK is privy to and which we believe is time to make public.

We do not know where or how the rug got into the hands of a NY rug dealer famous for his ‘restoration’ work. Work that for many years he only does on his own pieces rarely if ever fessing up to the often substantial 'improvements' he has created.

After his doing far more than 50 percent repiling, and who knows how much foundation replacement, the rudnick star Kazak was ready for sale and he cleverly consigned it to a New England rug dealer with a long-standing relationship with them.

Needless to say the neophyte eyes of mitchell and rosalie rudnick opened wide when his accomplice rolled the star out for them, and they instantly took the bait hook, line and sinker.

Rumors now have it they paid 275,000 dollars, and while RK does not know if this really is the price, we have heard it from some quite reliable sources close to the rudnicks.

To say that the New England rug dealer should have known about the extensive ‘restoration’ work and shied away from representing it is obvious. That he didn’t bodes poorly for him but since this is a caveat emptor world the rudnicks have no one to blame but themselves.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story concerns a coming out party the rudnick gave for their ruggie friends at their new condo in Boston to show off their collection and, of course, the recently purchased star Kazak.

During this soiree jim burns, one of the VIP invitees, was walking around with an entourage commenting on each piece on show. When he approached the star Kazak he stopped in his tracks, walked closer to it, put his hands on it, and exclaimed “ Not bad for a reproduction!”.

The room fell silent, a few in the entourage gasped for air but the rudnicks, who were not in the group following “professor” burns around but in ear shot at all times so they could overhear what the great burns was saying, gasped the loudest.

Now RK has never seen their star Kazak in person as long ago we kissed off contact with the rudnicks.

Just to put some perspective into our comments let us briefly tell why.

When mitch and rosalie burst on the rug scene sometime in the middle 80’s RK sold them a few pieces and had a reasonably cordial relationship with them.

But, like many, we did find rosalie’s overbearing obnoxious personality irritating, not to mention her belief her rug knowledge was anything but paltry. Nevertheless they were paying the freight so we cut her much slack.

Well that was until all that changed soon after they purchased a rare and wonderful sumak khorjin face from us in 1986/7.

By the way, it is illustrated in the “Collector’s Eye” exhibition catalog the New England Rug Society published and many of the more expert collectors who attended the exhibition this book memorialized, or know the rudnick collection well, are on record stating this sumak khorjin remains their favorite piece.

Here is a photo of the complete khorjin RK purchased in 1985 in Inverness, California from archy and ginger robbins.

If you look carefully you can see the very old leather edging and fastners that were on this complete khorjin when we acquired it. We have seen several other khorjin with this type of reinforcement but none as carefully and expertly done.

Someday we will recount the equally as interesting story of that purchase but this is not the time or place.

As you can see the khorjin was complete, both faces still attached by the kelim woven strip between them. The original back was also present.

From the time we purchased it from archy robbins it was a collection piece and never offered for sale. But when we learned the rudnicks had purchased for a sterling price the sumak khorjin (below) from Ebberhart Herrmann we decided to offer them the chance to buy half of our khorjin for the same sterling price.

Soumak khorjin that was on the cover of a Ebberhart Herrmann sales catalog and then sold to the rudnicks

We arranged to meet them at their home to show them our khorjin. This was long before they had moved into Boston and were still living in Concord, Mass.

When they saw it rosalie jumped up and quickly said we will buy it. RK told her take it easy as we were not selling the entire khorjin for the same sterling price, only one half.

With a dumbfounded look on her face she stammered “How, how are we going to buy just one half when the two halves are still attached?”

RK replied “Got a scissor?”.

The dumbfounded look on her face sank into flabbergasted silence.

After a few moments she got up the courage and said “You mean you are going to cut it in half.”

We replied “After all since these khorjin(saddlebags) were originally viewed one face at a time, and frankly they do not look as wonderful when hung with both faces visible, yes, we will disconnect them.”

While she was digesting this mitchell remained silent, his mouth dropping further to his chest as the minutes progressed.

“So who will get the kelim strip between them?” she asked. We replied “ You can have it”.

So we took a pair of scissors and cut them apart.

We had also brought an interesting circa 1800 fragment of a gold bordered Kazak with us and they purchased that as well.

They paid by personal check, which we deposited and it cleared.

We had no further contact with them until a NY sotheby rug auction about a month or so later.

We were standing in the back of the saleroom before the sale began talking with some people when rosalie marched up to us with a full head of steam saying “We need to talk right now. Let’s go outside.”

“No need for that just go ahead, rosalie, say what you want here now, we have no secrets that need to be privately discussed”.

“Well, well, you know we paid too much for that soumak” she blurted out.

Before she could say another word RK said “You paid too much? You paid the same price you paid Herrmann and got a better, more important, rarer and far more wonderful bag, rosalie. Did you tell Ebberhartt you paid too much after you bought his?”

Before she could answer we continued “Listen up, madam, if you are not happy give me back the bag and I will refund your money.”

How’s that” we added.

“No, no” she stammered “we didn’t mean that…”

But before she could open her yapper again RK said “So what did you mean? Do you want an after sale discount?”

Again she looked dumbstruck, shocked and now realizing she was standing in front of about 10 collectors and dealers she turned red and sulked off back to her seat in the auction.

That was the last time we had any contact with the rudnicks until about a year later when rosalie again marched up to us at the preview party for the “Collector’s Eye” exhibition, which was held at the Rhode Island School of Design.

“What are you doing here” she exclaimed “I didn’t invite you”.

At that moment the director of the museum walked up and said “Mrs. Rudnick, I invited Mr Cassin”

And to boot our former half khorjin was the hands down star of the show, much to the somewhat chagrin of mitchell and rosalie.

The other half remains to this day in our soumak bag collection.

After we heard about the brouhaha burns’s comment caused we were curious enough about the rug to want to see it in person.

So against our better judgement we reluctantly called the rudnicks and mitchell answered the call. We told he we had heard about what burn’s said and we offered to give him our opinion.

A couple of weeks later we planned to be there and called. This time rosalie answered and said “You are not welcome here. Do not call again” and then immediately hung up the phone.

There is little doubt their star Kazak is not a fake as burns so stupidly declared but it is a heavily overly restored one with a few design peculiarities that are far more likely to be the invention of the NY rug dealer restorer than any Kazak weaver.

CUTE ANIMALS DON’T A GREAT SOUMAK MAKE

first published Nov. 30 2002

Another comparison Alfred E. Wendorf, aka Mr Mambo, squeeked about was between a soumak bag in a Hermann catalog


Hermann

and one that is now on loan to the Weaving Art Museum and pictured in the soumak exhibition.

Weaving Art Museum

The hermann example was purchased about 15 years ago by an American wife/husband collector team, aka the 'rugniks', and presumably is still in their 'collection'.

For us it is 'sensational' but lacks real connection to the tradition.

It is a pastiche.
While the other bag is far more quiet and subdued, - it's design doesn't scream "look at me" but rather seduces the viewer's attention gradually. It is, in a manner of speaking the prototype of the herrmann piece.

After a few minutes of looking at it you've seen it all while the longer the Weaving Art Museum(WAMRI) example is studied, the more interesting and evocative it becomes.
Check this out for yourself.

Let's examine several details of these soumaks that prove my point but before doing this let me state the following as I have examined both bags :
They both have exceptional coloration - the broad green main border of the 'rugnik' bag is exceptional - but the WAMRI soumak has a broader range of colors - light blue, the same green, pumkin orange, crisp yellow - which are not apparent in the photos seen here.
Plus its color balance doesn’t overpower the design, as is the case in the ‘rugnik' piece, which by the way has a number of other deficiencies.

One place to look for clues to prove the 'rugnik' bag is a later copy and the WAMRI example was its prototype is in the medallions, which though they appear the 'same' actually aren't.
The WAMRI medallion is an eight pointed one, made by placing a square within a square at a 90 degree angle, with perfect proportions that are hypnotic.
While the 'rugnik' bag's simplified rectangular one barely hints at this feature and the loss of visual power is clearly the result..

Also the medallion's positioning also fails in comparison to the other bag's proportions, especially in regard to its medallion's position that has the effect of focusing the viewer's attention towards and into the medallion.
This again is lacking in the other piece

The borders that frame the medallions are different, the 'rugnik's a simple zig-zag compared to the more complex motif and wider border on the WAMRI piece. This feature again focuses attention into the center of the design.

Notice the elements inside the 'rugnik' medallion are all somewhat squashed – they are not nearly as distinct and potent as those in the WAMRI piece.

But for me the differences in the 4 small medallions that surround the central one says it all. Those in the 'rugnik' bag are a pastiche of design that I personally find gross and out of place while the WAMRI ones are traditional, complex and definitely an integral part of the design.
Actually the others were assembled from the WAMRI ones.

I could go on but this is a boring exercise as the rugnik bag will, I am sure no matter what I demonstrate, appeal to most novices as the more interesting, ie. better, of the two. However anyone who is well versed in the traditional weaving cultures of the Caucasus will have little doubt the WAMRI bag is far superior.

Those cutesy animals in the border of the rugnik bag are flash and naively, aka amateurishly, rendered and the four small medallions above and below the central one are likewise amorphous, meaningless patterns devoid of iconography or history. This bag tries to hard but in the end says nothing.
On the other hand the WAMRI soumak epitomizes the art of soumak - it is perfect both in it conception, execution and most important, its connection to a viable historical continuum.

Just one last comment: the minor borders on the rugnik bag are a simple zig-zag but on the WAMRI example a unique and complex motif has been used. Remember complexity that is contrived is meaningless but when it is brilliant in its execution, like it is here, it adds another layer of dimension that can be appreciated even by those whose eyes are untrained but open.

NERS STUMBLES AND MISSES, AGAIN
first published Sept. 5, 2013

Soumak khorjin; published “Soumak Kelim Carpet and Cloth: Classic Weaving of the Caucasus"; Weaving Art Museum; RK Collection

RK has written about mitchell and rosalie rudnick several times before, and we are sure our readers know we are no fan, nor do we believe all the hype and accolades certain people have voiced in their direction.

Recently RK had the opportunity to read the latest New England Rug Society(NERS) newsletter where a glowing tribute to the rudnicks and their collection was published.

Undoubtedly, their collection is a good one, but it should be after all the time and money they have spent.

But calling it “…one of the great collections in this country…” is nothing but senseless hype. And considering those words were uttered by Mr Lawrence Kearney, who as it is gossiped sold them a number of pieces and has acted as their consigliore and waterboy for decades, they surely are questionable.

We had to chuckle when the reporter for the NERS newsletter mentioned being enthralled by “…Mitchell’s tales of acquiring them…”. Who but a pathetic rug sycophant could possibly be enthralled by ‘tales’ of going to sotheby, or other actions, visiting rug dealer’s shoppes or fellow collectors and flashing a checkbook?

RK doubts, and doubts highly, the rugnick ever ‘discovered’ anything worthwhile on their own outside a shoppe, auction gallery or bedroom of some New England dealer?

Which bring us to the point that prodded RK into turning our keyboard in the rudnick’s direction once again.

Soumak khorjin front, formerly on the cover of an Ebberhart Hermann catalog; rudnick collection

RK readers know there is always a story behind every notable rug and there’s one here that doesn’t break that mold.

At the time the rudnicks, (and we have truly have trouble not typing rugniks as it should really be this ruggie possessed couple’s name) purchased this soumak RK was on friendly terms with them.

And when we heard they paid 15,000 dollars for it we decided to offer them a soumak bag face from our collection.

We only did this because it was one of a pair, and having one was more than enough for us, and our collection.

So we offered it to them, and they bought it paying the same price to us they paid to Hermann.

Here is the picture:

The complete soumak Khorjin, ex-RK collection; one half presumably still rudnick collection, the other in RK's collection

This happened sometime in the late 1980’s.

Before we get to the punch line it might interest readers to know when we offered them the khorjin face it was still part of a complete set – including the original back and center kelim woven strip.

Someday we’ll tell the story of how we acquired it, but that is really not germane to this story.

Anyway, when the rudnick’s saw it they instantly said "OK, we’ll buy it", incorrectly believing RK was offering the complete saddle bag set.

When we even more instantly told them only half was for sale for the 15K big-mouth rosalie then chirped-in "Well, how can we buy one half when the two haves are connected?"

Got a scissor?” RK replied.

They gasped, and then Rosalie stammered “You can’t do that”.

RK said “Why not, it’s mine, and anyway these khorjin were not originally made to be viewed together but rather one side at a time. Remember, they are saddlebags, each side made to be seen on one side of the saddle….never together.

After realizing the sense of that logic, she then petulantly asked “Well who’ll get the center kelim strip

You can have it” was RK’s answer, as it is far less interesting than the soumak work.

Good story but like all RK’s it doesn’t end there.

Soon after they bought the soumak, they exhibited it in the “Collector’s Eye” show at the Rhode Island School of Design. It is also illustrated in that catalog.

RK heard from many people it was their favorite piece in the show and what they thought was the best piece in the rugnick collection.

So you’d think the rudnick’s should have been pleased as punch with it. Fat chance for those rug-whiners.

Several months later RK was in New York City, at a sotheby auction. Lo and behold, rosalie rudnick came marching up to us and in her obnoxious, high pitched, chirpy voice loudly announced “We need to talk to you

At that moment RK was standing around with some rug collector and dealer acquaintances, but regardless we said “Go ahead, Rosalie, we have no secrets, what’s the problem

Ms rudnick then stated “We paid too much for that soumak!

RK then coolly said “You paid too much, really now, did you say the same thing to Hermann after you bought his?

But before she could answer RK then continued “What the fuck are you saying? Do you expect me to give you a discount?

And again before she could open her fat yap RK said “No problem I will write you a check right now for the 15K and give me back my soumak.

Well, no, I didn’t mean that” she sheepishly, now deflated sails and all said.

Then what the fuck did you mean, Rosalie.” and RK walked away and since then have only once spoken to either of them again.

We only recount this to demonstrate what sniveling, bullshit, cry-baby people with a checkbook, mitchell and rosalie rudnick truly are.

RK cannot help but also comment on Mr Lawrence Kearney’s misplaced praise for the rudnick’s Star Kazak, which is probably 60 plus percent restoration.

Even wide-eyed Kearney knows that, so why try to avoid saying the truth instead of hiding behind falsity?

And calling it “…full of barbaric splendor…”? Please now, Kearney, get a grip and get real, or get off the stage, bub.

Same goes for calling the somewhat insipid “animals” in the border of the Hermann soumak bag “…heraldic birds and dragon-like beasts…”.

Please now, let’s all come back to reality.

RK has already critiqued the Hermann soumak and direct readers here to read our commentary “ Cute Animals Dont A Great Soumak Make”. (You will need to cut and paste the URL below into your browser window as RugKazbah.com does not support live links. We do this purposely to prevent miscreants from posting links to obscene nonsense and worse.)

http://rugkazbah.com/boards/records.php?id=279&refnum=279

But Kearney’s closing comments take the cake for the most over-the-top sycophanty we have ever read in anything rug-related:

There is more to the collection we celebrated this evening than just great colors, striking designs and fabulous wool quality. It has coherence, scope, soulfulness and moments of real magic that is hard to define. Creating a collection of great rugs is an artistic endeavor, and the Rudnick collection is among the best, reflecting their talent and devotion and good fortune

What a crock of shit, Kearney, you should be embarrased.

Let RK now translate Kearney’s words for those of you who are not familiar with rugDUMB speak:

There is more to the collection the owners want us to celebrate this evening, and tomorrow evening, and tomorrow evening…

It is seemingly coherent only because these collectors could not get past the easily understood 19th century Caucasian rug aesthetic and move onto the far more intellectually challenging and rewarding weavings of Anatolia and Turkmenistan.

Their effort appears soulful solely when someone, like Kearney, waxes poetic but in fact it has about as much soul as the Village People singing group had when compared to Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.

And any moments of “real magic” are nothing but cheap slight of hand tricks preformed by a circus magician before a group of country-bumkin rubes.

Finally, creating a rug collection like the Rudnick have done required only one quality – a well-stuffed wallet and the willingness to open it when told to.

Only a pair of starved for approval nobodies like them would pay 250K for a Star Kazak that had more work done to it than Leona Helmsley’s face.

And calling what they did an artistic endeavor demeans to the ground the word artistic and turns the hard work and struggle implicit in the word endeavor into what a five second sound-bite of the Gettysburg Address or M.L. King’s I Have A Dream Speech could convey.

No, No, only in rugDUMB would a brain-dead audience lap up the incredible nonsense, drivel and worthless palaver a Lawrence Kearney spills, or a know-nothing commentator like Ann Nicholas dares to preserve in a newsletter.

Author: jc
email:
Sat, Nov 5th, 2016 09:40:55 AM

Rumors like ants at a picnic just keep coming no matter how hard you try to avoid them.

Seems RK's comments have, once again, kicked up a storm of criticism from friends of mitch and rosalie as well as murmurs of agreement from those who both know them and the truth about their soon to be forgotten alleged legacy in rugDumb.

Andy Warhol is probably most noted for his sagacious prediction "In the future everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes".

He was right on with that one as the rudnick will for the next few proverbial quarter hours be the object of more lip service than they received in the past 30 years. By the way not all Warhol's ideas were as precient. Let's remember the AndyMat, a restaurant where there were to be only tables for one surrounded by cubicle walls with a TV set embedded in the one opposite the chair.

But all such rudnick confabulating is meaningless, race day when their collection hits the auction block will end up making or breaking their epithet and whatever has been said before will become moot.

RK has looked over the 107 lots a few times and cannot shake our first impression only a scant few will sell very, very well and most will languish in their surely very reasonable estimated ranges.

One unpredictable factor, RK likes to call the New England effect, will hold sway on sale day. In this area of America, of which Boston is the capital, there are many old homes built during the 18th and 19th centuries which still have decorative schemes friendly to oriental carpets.

Also the reputation old oriental carpets have as decorative items is perhaps strongest in this region compared to any other in the world. These two factors will undoubtedly buoy up competition and prices. But it remains to be seen how many lots will be considered to be in good enough condition to function as floor furniture, sell in the ranges customers will find comfortable, and most importantly garner interest from 'collectors' who will be buying what they perceive as 'art' and not floor covering and pay accordingly.

Chosing not to sell their collection at Skinners, where there is beyond any doubt the healthiest and strongest contingent of decorative carpet buyers versus collectors, might have been the most major mistake the rudnicks will have made.

But we are sure the egotistical belief their collection is art worthy derailed any thoughts of a different reality, one that selling at Skinners as floor furniture would have engendered.

Tune back in for a post-sale review.

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