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Oriental Rugs and Their Stories 
James Opie

Saturday, January 20, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 PM
Free with museum admission



Bibler family rug
Rug from Bibler Collection

About the Event

Renowned rug expert James Opie will shares stories of oriental rugs -- the people who made them, their history and his travels to collect them. Under his guidance, the Bibler Foundation acquired a number of antique tribal rugs and weavings that, in addition to being exceptional works of textile art, serve to illustrate the evolution of design motifs in southern Persian art.

In 1970, at the age of 31, James Opie started his business, James Opie Oriental Rugs. Before his business began, he says, “an inexplicable passion related to repeating geometric designs” led him to start reading books on Islamic buildings. In an effort to plumb the source of what profoundly attracted him, Opie began traveling to Iran and Afghanistan in the early 1970s. During these trips, Opie observed the work of hundreds of weavers and was befriended by several experienced rug dealers who influenced his career, and, he says, “my outlook on life.” After spending significant periods in Iran, Opie felt it was time to record what he learned. More specifically, he wanted to clarify inexact terminologies then used to identify south Persian tribal rugs. Along with writing scores of articles, he authored two books – Tribal Rugs of Southern Persia and Tribal Rugs – and the latter was translated and published in German, Italian and French editions.



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