Home > LACMA's Questionable Rug Purchase >The LACMA/dodds rug in situ
Wed, Jan 12th, 2005 09:12:02 PM
Topic: The LACMA/dodds rug in situ

RK.com has it from an ultra-reliable source that dodds told dale gluckman, the LACMA curator who championed the rug’s purchase, “The rug is from my private collection and has not been offered for sale before.” This is patently untrue and horribly deceptive.

It is conduct unbecoming to any art dealer, especially one who has assumed a central, high profile position in his chosen art field.

Rk.com has just received a photo dodds placed on a rug and textile website that many dealers use to advertise items for sale. In fact, this website is now exclusively a venue for selling carpets, the other functions now defunct.

This photo was placed there in 2003 and, according to the person who sent it to us, still remains up on that website to this day.

Here it is with the original caption dodds wrote and posted with it:

“This is a view of the interior of our former residential gallery. On the right wall is a rare 16th c. Chinese silk velvet and gold brocade textile from the Ming Dynasty (SOLD). Another very fine 18th c. Chinese velvet altar cover is on the wall above a kang table. On the floor is a handsome Anatolian village rug from the Karapinar region, c. 1825-50, displaying a bold large-pattern Holbein pattern on an unusual apricot ground. Beneath the arch is a masterpiece from our early Anatolian rug collection, woven in the Konya/Karapinar region in the late 16th century.”

There can be no doubt of the wording - this rug is for sale - and, should there be anyone who might question this, the other instances we have mentioned of dodds’s efforts to sell it should dispel any confusion.

Had gluckman been well-versed in Early Turkish Rugs, dodds’s deceptive responses to some of her questions, which we have already enumerated, might be somewhat overlooked as ‘sales-patter’. However, gluckman did not know the first thing about these rugs, something dodds’s could not have helped to realize, and she ‘trusted’ him and everything he said to her.

And why shouldn’t she, after all dodds is the chairman of the icoc, has organized several exhibitions in east coast museums and has, up to now, an unblemished public record, regardless of the gossip and stories that circulate about him privately.

Proof is in the pudding and RK.com believes dodds has a lot of explaining to do, not only about the questionable age and importance of his rug but, perhaps more importantly also about his conduct during the selling process.

As for dodds’s belief the carpet is a “masterpiece” and “late-16th century”? RK.com can only wonder if he really is so inexperienced or just thought that, too, was good ‘sales patter’.

Let’s not forget rug dealers have long held the reputation of making up cute stories about their wares to entertain their clients and facilitate sales.

Seems to us dodds’s effort here, with LACMA, falls well into that old-school practice.

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