Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rugs Dedicated to God

Whether or not you decide to spend a full day, that is up to yourself. If I'm given two choices between those -lets say one is about staying at home and reading a good book; another is visiting a museum-... Of course I'd immediately pick a visit to a museum, that is highly enjoyable way to begin the day or even finish the day for me:)

The other day, I did (it) my way:) Perhaps it reminds you the famous lyrics from one of my favorite singers Frank Sinatra, who knows;)

On friday late afternoon, we decided to visit Sakip Sabanci Museum (shortly SSM) to see two exclusive exhibitions: Rugs and Embroidery Exhibitions. (1)The 41 Ottoman Rugs woven in West Anatolia between the 16th and 18th century and have been preserved in Translyvanian Churches (in present day Romania and Hungary). (2)The exclusive embroideries of Kaitag region of Daghestan.

Simply, one of the best places that I can visit for information about a culture and history is a museum that greatly fascinates me! I know that the accurate and interesting facts about the area and/or a topic is kept in the museums.
So, museum is a ''Must'' in my life!

Istanbul is the hottest spot of Turkey that is home to a variety of events -national and international-, rich history and especially a number of fantastic museums. Each one of the museums in the City is unique and display different facts that capture my attention always.

SSM known as Atli Kosk (English: Horse Mansion) is placed on the marvellous Bosphorus in Emirgan in the European part of the City. With its antique furnishings and art collections inside, SSM is a prestigious Museum. The Museum hosts great exhibitions of international artists such as Pablo Picasso, Rodin etc.

SSM ''The Museum''

As far as the rugs, what is your favorite? For me, my favorite is antique rugs. Rugs are used in the home as floor coverings, blankets, tablecloths and decorations. They acquire value as they are used despite the most of the objects decrease in value over the time. That said, the rug weaving can be traced back as early the Neolitic age (7000 B.C.). To the historians, the oldest example in the history of hand-made rugs is the which is exhibited in the St Petersburg Hermitage Museum, Russia.

Lets back to the exhibition: Antique Anatolian Rugs of 16th and 18th centuries have a special place in the art of rug history. Since many of these rugs are kept in Translyvania, they are considered as a special type in the rug literature and for this reason they are called as ''Translyvanian Rugs''. Here is the one from the display, how amazing!

-Product info-
The Nades Second-period 'Translyvanian' Double Niche Rug. Made in Manisa province, mid 17th century. 121X160cm by original size, wool pile on a wool foundation. Formerly: Evangelical Church, Nades (Nadesch)

*Source: more photos and detailed info can be found here.

In the past, the Venetian merchants brought these rugs to Europe in the 13th century firstly by the sea, then they were delivered by the land in the 15th century. The beauty of Ottoman Rugs from Western Anatolia has been greatly respected, so the generations of the people of Translyvania Region of Romania have cherished and displayed the hundreds of them in their churches for at least five centuries. They have been also greatly admired over the past 500 years by the Protestant Christian Communities of Translyvania.

Exhibiton displays a fine selection of Ottoman Rugs for the first time in Istanbul since the exhibition in Budapest was in 1914. These rugs were made in the provinces of Usak, Kula, Milas, Izmir, Bergama in Turkey that they represent very important aspect of today's unique Turkish art keeping alive this wonderful rug-making tradition. So, Turkey is also a ''Heaven'' for the rugs. The rugs woven in the agricultural areas of Anatolia owe their origins to the settlers or Normadic cultures. In Europe, these kind of rugs are generally called as ''Anatolian Rugs''.

Another textile art at SSM I visited is Daghestan Art of Weaving - Kaitag Embroideries. Those 47 embroderies unique to Kaitag dating from the 16th century to the 19th century under Ottoman influence are on display. Kaitags are on the multi-ethnic groups of people living on the mountanious regions of Daghestan. They have maintained a life that was considerably isolated and faithful to their customes until mid 20th century. I'm very much impressed with the vibrant works of art in vividly colored embroidered silks! Look, here an example from the display:

-Product Info-
Celtic Shield. Kaitag Region, south-west Daghestan. 18th century or earlier. 65X121 cm by original size. Silk embroidery on cotton.

These embroideries are important part of domestic ritual occasions related to birth, marriage and death. Some of them had protected babies from the evil eye by standing at the head of the cradle, while some of them had wrapped the bride's jewels and nuptial presents. This exhibition was presented firstly in Paris, afterwards at the Deutsches Textile Museum, Krefel, Germany. This time meeting with us in Istanbul.

As I am an artlover, I enjoyed very much seeing a number of outstanding examples: both gorgeous Anatolian Rugs in Praise of God and also culturally mosaic-made remarkable embroideries. What can I wish anymore;)

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