Category Archives: Exhibitions

Photos, reviews, and commentary on Afghan war rug exhibitions around the world.

Luca Emilio Brancati’s uniquely important collection

My understanding is that Luca Emilio Brancati collected war rugs from 1984 until 1987 exclusively. Thanks to Nigel Lendon, I saw a few photos over the years, but documentation of Brancati’s important 2018 exhibition at the gallery in the Palazzo Lascaris in Turin, Italy, was the first time good photos were published on the internet.

More rare photos are here, and on this FB post, and press coverage is here, and an announcement is here.

Brancati’s pinterest has lots of interesting war rug photos.

Interesting youtube video

In Brancati’s new book with Amedeo Vittorio Bedini the photos alone are surely worth the thirty-four Euros.

Brancati’s last book was also a fascinating subject. Published in 1999 it seems to be out of print, but The Carpets of the Painters (or I Tappeti dei Pittori), analyzes rugs shown in old paintings.

Afghan War Rug Exhibition at Temple University

War rug art is fascinatingly educational friends! Temple University’s Samuel L. Paley Library, in room 309, is currently holding a Afghan war rug exhibition that contains 14 of my Afghan war rugs. These rugs tell stories and contain history which, ” helps contextualize a group of people that many Americans know very little about.” Theirs so much to be learned and talked about. Go check it out!

Video on vimeo (embed removed to stop unwelcome third party javascript from running on Warrug)

This show has curated by Alicia Cunningham-Bryant and student assistant curators, Ilana Napoli, and Rachel Morin.

Rugs shown are documented here

TCNJ’s ‘Art Amongst War’ Exhibition featured in Sunday New York Times

Today’s New York Times Metropolitan section has a story by Tammy La Gorce about the show ‘Art Amongst War’ at The College of New Jersey’s Art Gallery. The show is curated by Deborah Hutton, and it features an array of art made by Afghan artists including 5 war rugs loaned by, including the one in Times’ story. The show includes fine paintings, beautiful needlework, historical and contemporary video, installation art and some beautiful and haunting photographs.

“The anonymous weavers of six 1980s and 1990s-era “war rugs” — carpets whose motifs include land mines, guns and soldiers — may have had no formal training, learning from their relatives, but they have incorporated the grim realities of life in a war zone into their traditional craft.”

Canada’s Textile Museum War Rug Show

A highpoint of my interest in war rugs was attending the opening of Max Allen’s collection of war rugs at Canada’s Textile Museum. Max and everyone at the Textile Museum have developed an excellent war rug database. It has structural data, very good descriptions, and excellent photographs. Bravo!

Toronto is a beautiful and interesting town. I visited a well styled and eclectic independent bookstore called The Monkey’s Paw.

Commencing our tour, Max commended this rug as best of all:

The contenders for my favorite are:

This, truly gorgeous rug, is most historically important:

I talked to Tim and Max about my theory of the “Feedback Loop” specifically regarding this rug:

this group of rugs:

and these Mas’ud rugs:

Max’s guided Tim and me through the galleries. His analysis was animated and very well informed. Succinctly, Max focused on our lack of specific answers to four questions: Who made the rugs? Where were they made? When were they made? What do they mean?

More posts about this show soon…..

Canada’s Textile Museum Opening

(l-r) Sarah Quinton, Nataley Nagy, Max Allen, and Fourth Estate member representing The National Post.

The artist Richard Johnson whose drawings were on display standing in front of “The Mother of All War Rugs”.

Jam Minaret gallery.

Excellent gallery of pictorial rugs, including “Calendar” rugs.

Tim Bonyhady in Rustam gallery.The rug at left is a great beauty.

Press coverage of the show:
The National Post

Textile Museum of Canada’s War Rug Show

Textile expert and war rug aficionado Max Allen has curated an exhibition of his war rugs at Canada’s Textile Museum which opens April 23. There is a story today from Reuters about the show.

“It’s hard to tell what a particular rug is supposed to mean when its history is hidden and its maker is unknown,” said Max Allen, the curator of the exhibit.

“What’s left are the rugs themselves — eloquent anonymous documents of a world turned upside down,” he added in an interview.

For Allen all of the rugs are important cultural documents about the events that occurred in that part of the world.

“There’s never been anything like them before and they are war from the ground up,” he said.

Weavings of War Exhibition Review

From The Salt Lake Tribune.

Hozain, who weaves on a loom in her home, is one of dozens of textile artists from around the globe whose work is included in a traveling national exhibit.

The common thread among these women of South Africa, Vietnam, Peru and the Middle East is the influence of warfare on their communities, said Lisa Gabbert, a humanities professor at Utah State University and project director. “This exhibit is important because it places women’s voices at the forefront of a public discussion on war,” Gabbert said. “Women’s voices, particularly the voices of poor women from developing countries, are usually left out of such discussions.”

Previous Posts about Weavings of War:New York opening, Hali review, , exhibition photos, and example of WoW rug and regular Baluchi pattern.

Miami University Art Museum Exhibition Link Roundup

Here are a few links about the exhibition at the Miami University Art Museum.

Some of the rugs in the museum exhibition serve as warnings to people to be aware of unexploded ordinances, illustrating what not to touch. Others contain maps and other images that detail the Soviet occupation, and later, the terrorist attacks against the United States in 2001.

“These rugs are quite mysterious,” he [Kremmer] said. “They haven’t been studied in any great detail, who made them and why, what are the messages. That’s why this exhibit is important.”

Link from The Journal News
And a Symposium description from The Oxford Press

The featured exhibition, “Tanks, Helicopters, Guns and Grenades: The Afghan War Rugs,” explores how the changing political landscape of Afghanistan, beginning with the Soviet invasion of 1979, has influenced the rug weavers of the area as they replaced traditional motifs with modern weaponry and warfare.

From The Middletown Journal

The result is an art form that resides precariously “alongside contemporary and avant-garde art, and political
art and propaganda,” Marsh said. This exhibition will showcase approximately 80 war rugs from a private New York collection and offers a rare opportunity to investigate the complex historical, political and social realities of this region.

From Richard Jones’ Blog
Another Richard Jones’ blog entry with photos by Nick Daggy