Ann Nicholas & Richard Blumenthal
Two independent researchers and collectors from
Lur, Qashqai, and Afshar weavers make beautiful pile rugs and flat-weaves in south Persia. Many of these woven items are small, colorful utilitarian bags and trappings that are extremely charming and collectible. Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal shared their enthusiasm for these weavings, which they have collected for twenty years. They began researching the historical and ethnographic literature, interviewing people who had experience with the South Persian nomads, and searching for photographs of nomadic life showing weavings in use. They found thousands of photographs, many unpublished, in rare and out of print books, university and museum archives, and personal collections of ethnographers. This work confirms many ideas about nomadic weavings; however, some commonly-held notions need to be re-examined, especially those about piled saddlebags. Now the Blumenthals have two collections: small south Persian tribal weavings, and pictures of their nomadic life. Their talk illustrated pieces from both collections, and reviewed south Persian nomadic life with emphasis on nomadic weavings, and then covered the conditions in 19th century
Ann Nicholas and Richard Blumenthal are long standing members of the New England Rug Society. Ann has written several articles for its newsletter and exhibition reviews for HALI magazine. Their collection of small south Persian tribal weavings was exhibited at ACOR 8, where they gave a focus lecture on the south Persian nomadic life and weavings. Recently they have given talks to several rug societies and published two articles in HALI, “South Persian Tribal Weavings: Their Use in Nomadic Life” (HALI 150, 2007,) and “The Mystery Unraveled: Knotted-pile Saddlebags” (HALI 151, 2007.) .