Planned Events
of the International Hajji Baba Society

*Some programs such as salons and home visits marked with an * are open only to Hajji members and require pre-registration two weeks in advance of the event. Information on location and how to register will be forthcoming.

DATE: Sunday, April 19, 2015
TIME: 3:30pm
LOCATION: Arlington County Library, 2nd floor meeting room
1015 N Quincy St
Arlington VA 22201
SPEAKER: Anna Beselin, Senior Textile Conservator, Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin

SUBJECT: Reassembling a Persian Beauty

A few years ago the Museum fuer Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg succeeded in purchasing from a private collection half of an early Safavid spiral vine carpet with animals. This fragment is the other half of a fragment that had already been on display in the museum for many years. In a unique collaboration with the Museum fuer Islamische Kunst Berlin’s conservation department, the two fragments are going to be rejoined after several decades of separation. On the occasion of the reopening of the Islamic Gallery in Hamburg in the spring of 2015, the carpet will be presented to the public in its original size and beauty for the first time in many, many years. This talk will give the audience in the United States and Canada an inside view of the restoration, at the same time as persons in Hamburg are first able to see the entire carpet.

DATE: Sunday, May 17, 2015
TIME: 3:30pm
LOCATION: St. Paul's Lutheran Church basement chapel
down the stairs and past the kitchen
4900 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Parking on Ellicott Street

SPEAKER: Richard Isaacson
SUBJECT: Tents and Furnishing of the Nomads of Central Asia

The nomadic trellis tent has made life possible across the steppes of Central Asia for several millennia. The multipurpose utilitarian weavings used to furnish it are widely admired as works of art in the west, but were based on the necessities of the now largely vanished nomadic lifestyle. This talk will discuss the history and construction of the tent, and illustrate the weavings used as utilitarian furnishings of the nomads from many ethnic groups, including Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, and Uzbeks.

Richard Isaacson attended Columbia and Stanford Universities before receiving his PhD in Theoretical Physics from the University of Maryland. He taught at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, then moved to the U.S. National Science Foundation in Washington, DC where he served as the Program Director for Gravitational Physics. He simultaneously pursued a strong interest in art and oriental carpets. Since his retirement from government in 2002, carpets have become his primary interest, and physics has been his hobby.

He has been active at the Textile Museum in Washington, DC, lecturing frequently and serving as a member of the Textile Museum Advisory Council. He was Guest Curator for the exhibition Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia, at The Textile Museum, Washington, DC, (March 30, 2007 -- August 19, 2007). He was previously a Guest Curator for the exhibition From the Amu Darya to the Potomac: Central Asian Bags from Area Collections (Sept 7, 2001--Feb 24, 2002).

He was a member of Local Organizing Committee for the 10th International Conference on Oriental Carpets (2003), Washington, DC. He also served as the Exhibition Project Manager for the ICOC show Treasures from the Museums of Uzbekistan, held at the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Washington, DC.

He has published in Oriental Rug Review, HALI and Steppe magazines, and has written the exhibition catalogue Architectural Textiles: Tent Bands of Central Asia. His latest publication is of two articles in the portfolio Sketches From the Steppes of Central Asia.

DATE: Sunday, June 14, 2015
TIME: 3:30pm
LOCATION: St. Paul's Lutheran Church basement chapel
down the stairs and past the kitchen
4900 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Parking on Ellicott Street

SPEAKER: Cecilia Anderson
SUBJECT: Classic Laces: Fashion, Status, and Civilization

From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, European fashion in clothing and furnishings depended on exquisitely delicate and wildly expensive handmade lace. Lace, an ornamental openwork fabric most commonly executed in fine white linen, is a uniquely European textile form that developed and flourished during the few centuries in which Europeans were establishing global colonial empires. As Europeans encountered Native Americans, Africans, and Asians, they developed ideas of gentility and civilization to differentiate themselves, including a concept of cleanliness through the use and display of fine, white, and lace-trimmed body linens. In this talk I will consider two main types of fashion laces, needle lace and bobbin lace, covering their histories, techniques, and identification, and exploring their origins and social context within developing European concepts of gentility in a global age.

Cecilia Gunzburger Anderson is a textile historian, museum curator, and teacher currently serving as Faculty in The Smithsonian Associates/George Mason University M.A. program in the History of Decorative Arts. Previously, she was Assistant Curator at The Textile Museum in Washington, DC, where she organized an exhibition and symposium on Navajo weaving with Ann Hedlund, a leading scholar of Navajo textiles. Cecilia has published and lectured on indigenous Mexican weaving, contemporary fiber art, and other topics, including the standard reference on textile cataloging terminology for museums, and has organized exhibitions on a global range of textile topics. She holds an M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies from the SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Tennessee.

Some Other Upcoming Textile Events and Other Events of Interest

DATE: April 2015
EVENT: South Africa Arts and Culture Tour

Anyone interested in an arts and culture tour to South Africa should check out the itinerary found here. The tour tour is being organized by Valerie Hearder, based in Nova Scotia, Canada. Please note that the tour price is in Canadian dollars.

DATE: April 17 - July 5,2015
EVENT: Hats on the Silk Road: Selections from the Collection of Russell S. and Dona Fling

The Columbus Museum of Art invites you to explore the culture and history of Southern Asia’s Silk Road. Hats on the Silk Road: Selections from the Collection of Russell S. and Dona Fling, on view April 17 – July 5, showcases the remarkable collection of Russell S. and Dona Fling, among the most important collections of its kind in the world.

The exhibition presents a colorful selection of headdresses, hats and, skullcaps from the Fling Collection and examines the history, provenance and, cultural backgrounds from which the works come. These hats reflect the people who made them, as well as their cultures, religions, customs, traditions, livelihoods, social status, time periods, and even the climate. Hats were made for practical purposes, such as protection from the weather; for special occasions, such as weddings; for recognizing social or political status; and for purposes of religion. They represent all levels of society, from rulers to ordinary citizens, rich and poor, male and female, adult and child. Some were worn by kings, queens, and powerful political leaders; others, by brides and grooms. More information here.

DATE: May 2015
EVENT: Indonesian Textile Cruise

Members of the International Hajji Baba Society with a love of adventure and Indonesian ikat may be interested in joining a small group of enthusiasts to sail around the Lesser Sunda Islands in Eastern Indonesia from May 14 to 25, 2015, visiting local village dyers and weavers. The tour will be led by British researchers David and Sue Richardson. David and Sue have a special interest in Indonesian textiles having visited almost every part of the archipelago during the past twenty-five years.

More information available here and here.

DATE: June 5-14, 2015
EVENT: Stefano Ionesco's Study Tour to Transylvania & Bukovina

During the tour we will visit the cultural attraction in and around Bucharest, in Transylvania and in Bukovina: art museums, fortified churches, painted monasteries, Royal palaces, medieval castles and pristine nature in the Carpathians. Our focus will be on Ottoman Carpets (we’ll see over 200 examples), post Byzantine embroideries and Romanian folk kilims and textiles.

More information available here. There is a discount for members of the IHBS registering before 15 January.

DATE: July 9-13, 2015
EVENT: Textile Society of America tour, International Folk Art Market

Textiles Close Up at the International Folk Art Market, Santa Fe, NM
Celebrate & Preserve Living Folk Art Traditions

-Experience the market with renowned textile scholars Mary Littrell and Elena Phipps
-Attend the opening night VIP party with the first chance to visit the booths and shop
-Meet some of the Folk Art Market textile artists at a private panel and during an optional opportunity to assist an artist in his or her booth
-Take an exclusive curator-led tour of the new exhibit "The Red that Colored the World" at the Museum of International Folk Art

Registration is now open to the public through May 1st here.

DATE: August 6 - 9, 2015
EVENT: International Conference on Oriental Carpets

The thirteenth International Conference on Oriental Carpets (ICOC) will be held in Washington, DC, August 6– 9, 2015. This conference is being organized in collaboration with and in support of the new Textile Museum, on the campus of the George Washington University. Events will include a series of lectures, special admission to the important inaugural exhibition “Unraveling Identity: Our Textiles, Our Stories,” a reception, admission to other Washington exhibitions, access to the TM’s new conservation and storage facilities in Ashburn, VA, and an optional post-conference tour to Philadelphia and New York City. Registration for ICOC XIII will begin in early April. See here, which will post further details of the conference. Extraordinarily favorable hotel rates are being arranged. A carpet fair will be separately organized.

DATE: May 19-30, 2016
EVENT: Indonesian Textile Cruise

Notice from British textile researchers David and Sue Richardson:

We are delighted to announce that the dates of our 2016 tour will be 19-30 May. We will again be exploring some of the most beautiful islands of Indonesia - Flores, Lembata, Alor, Timor, Savu, Sumba and Rinca - from the comfort of the beautiful Ombak Putih.

Our days will be spent exploring weaving villages and learning about natural dyeing techniques, plus of course some time for snorkelling and relaxing on deck. Each evening we will give a talk on the people and textiles we will be encountering the next day.

The trip is limited to 22 participants. Why not be one of them and join us for the trip of a lifetime?

Full details can be found in this PDF brochure or by email at

return to home page