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: Saturday, January 28, 2017
EVENT: Annual Business Meeting and Pot Luck Dinner

HAPPY HOUR – 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm

POTLUCK DINNER –Dinner will be served from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. The IHBS has been holding successful potluck dinners for many years. Participants should bring a favorite dish that can either be an appetizer, entrée, salad or dessert. Whatever you bring should serve about eight people. The IHBS will provide wine, beer, and some non-alcoholic beverages.

SHORT ANNUAL MEETING –between 7:30 and 8:00 pm. Election of Board of Directors and announcements.

LOCATION: Basement of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 4900 Connecticut Avenue, NW, at the intersection of Ellicott Street and Connecticut Avenue.

SPEAKER: Thomas Cook

Subject: Rug scholarship and connoisseurship: What in it is worth taking seriously in these two slippery but related concepts?

This talk applies standards of evaluation to oriental rug scholarship and connoisseurship. It seeks to identify which parts of rug scholarship have more or less merit, concentrating on issues of attribution and dating. It then contrasts rug scholarship with rug connoisseurship and suggests to listeners that they should be content with connoisseurship even though it implicitly prizes the reliability of knowledge over its validity. Throughout this discussion of Middle Eastern woven arts, comparisons are made with scholarship and connoisseurship as they are usually understood in Western visual arts.

Thomas D. Cook received a BA degree from Oxford University and a Ph.D. from Stanford. From 1968 until 2015 he was at Northwestern University where he was the Joan and Serepta Harrison Professor of Ethics and Justice and also a Professor in the Departments of Sociology, Psychology and Education and Social Policy and a Faculty Associate of the Institute of Policy Research. His academic speciality is descriptive epistemology, knowing how individuals and institutions construct knowledge. He mostly uses this knowledge in developing methods for evaluating social policies and programs. He now works in the DC office of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. He began collecting rugs in 1977 while a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and has stayed narrowly engaged with rugs in the sense that he, his wife and son collect weavings only from Fars province in Iran. He has served on the board of the Textile Museum and has written for Hali with Sumru Krody, for Gereh with Carol Bier, and for the Oriental Rug Review.

DATE: Sunday, February 12, 2017
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: The Textile Museum, 701 21st Street NW
SUBJECT: Secrets of Tibetan Weaving
SPEAKER: Rupert Smith

Rupert Smith will talk to us about Tibetan carpets as described in his book Secrets of Tibetan Weaving: The Greensmith Collection. Topics will include the origins of Tibetan weaving, looms and techniques, the making of Tibetan rugs, Chequer rugs (Shomig), cushions, Gampa Dzong carpets, Gyantse carpets, horse trappings, and Wangden monastic carpets. Rupert may bring 19thC Tibetan rugs and an example of an early silk road Tibetan Imperial period (660-770AD) silk as well for study purposes.

Rupert Smith is from Derbyshire, England, and bought his first rug in the bazaar in Istanbul over thirty years ago. Following his first visit to Tibet in 1986 he has dedicated himself to the study of Tibetan culture, with particular attention to the unique craft of Tibetan weft and weave. As well as having an eye for the rugs characteristic of daily life on the remote Tibetan plateau, he sponsors a project in Tibet dedicated to making Wangden meditation rugs. With energy and tenacity Rupert has promoted the revival of ancient skills by supplying the weavers with natural dyes from Nepal and India and has brought them to the attention of the outside world. His knowledge of the rarest and most exquisite antique Tibetan rugs is second to none and can be found in his book Secrets of Tibetan Weaving.

DATE: Sunday, March 26, 2017
TIME: 2:00pm
LOCATION: The Textile Museum
SUBJECT: 18th and 19th century Turkish Rugs and their Relation to the ‘Transylvanian’ Group
SPEAKER: Stefano Ionescu

The talk is a complementary lecture to the previous day’s lecture at the Textile Museum on Single- and Double-Niche ‘Transylvanian’ rugs.

It will start with a quick review of the other two groups of ‘Transylvanian’ rugs: Plain-niche and Column Rugs. For each type Stefano will present an inventory with dating elements of the existing 17th century examples, based on a comprehensive survey in public and private collections and in carpet literature. He will trace the remains and the evolution of the motifs of these ‘Transylvanian’ groups in 18th and early 19th century Anatolian rugs: Bergama, Dazkiri, Demirci, Gördes, Kula, Konya, Karapinar, Melas, Mudjur, Ladik and further to the East. During the talk he will try to elucidate if there was a continuation of tradition or just more recent carpet production, inspired by old models. Stefano will also discuss some lesser know transitional examples from the Turkish museum together with some outstanding village rugs.

Those who would like to bring in rugs are welcome to send Stefano photographs of the same so that he can prepare his discussion on them.

Stefano Ionescu, an independent scholar on Oriental carpets, has dedicated nearly twenty years to the study of Anatolian rugs, starting with those that survived in Transylvania. This region continues to be the repository of the richest and best-preserved corpus of small Turkish carpets outside the Islamic world: nearly four hundred examples attributable to the golden period of Ottoman weaving, from the 16th to 18th century.: ‘Holbein’, ‘Ushak’, ‘Lotto’, Selendi and a wealth of so-called ‘Transylvanian’ rugs.

His book titled Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania, which was awarded the Romanian Academy Prize in the History of Art, a very rare occurance in the realm of rug literature. In 2011 he received the Joe Mc Mullan award.

Stefano produces high quality Replicas of the originals in Sultanhani, in Anatolia between Konya and Aksaray, employing hand carded, hand spun wool, natural dyes and traditional techniques. It is hoped that parishes will substitute old church-rugs which ought to be carefully preserved in museums for generations to come with these replicas.

From 9th to 17th June 2017 Stefano IONESCU will lead the second HALI tour to Transylvania, together with HALI senior editor Daniel Shaffer.

For further details about Stefano’s activities in connection to the promotion of the Transylvanian patrimony of Anatolian rugs, please see

Stefano Ionescu's lecture is made possible by a partial sponsorship from the Romanian Cultural Institute of New York.

Some Other Upcoming Textile Events and Other Events of Interest

DATE: February 11, 2017
SPEAKER: Richard Isaacson
SUBJECT: Tents and Furnishings of the Nomads of Central Asia
LOCATION: The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco

Richard Isaacson will give the 10th Annual Caroline and McCoy Jones Memorial Lecture.

The Textile Museum Calendar

return to home page