The Carpet and the Connoisseur The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs

Front cover image

Walter B. Denny with Thomas J Farnham

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Paperback with flaps
Saint Louis Art Museum/Hali Publications
Territory: World
Size: 280 mm x 240 mm
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 272 colour, 7 b&w

RRP £40.00

  • Catalogue of one of the USA's premier collections, given to the St Louis Art Museum by a pioneering local businessman and his daughter; the collector's taste was far in advance of his time and highly regarded. Accompanies an eponymous exhibition
  • Many pieces published for the first time

Following several years of extensive research, conservation, and photography, Saint Louis Art Museum's major 2016 exhibition highlights 50 carpets and two Persian pleasure tents assembled by one of the most important early twentieth-century American carpet collectors, James F. Ballard. The unique contents of the collection, outstanding quality of many of the rugs, and detailed technical content make this book a major contribution to the study of Islamic textiles and the field of Islamic art history as a whole. The compelling visual nature of the pieces will appeal to art historians, rug collectors, and the general public alike. The book includes an essay about James Ballard as a collector by Thomas J. Farnham. A second essay by Walter B. Denny introduces the general topic of rug varieties in the Ballard Collection, placing the collection in a larger art historical and historiographic context. The textiles featured in the exhibition are organised according to geographical origin and style, with brief introductions by Denny that provide more detailed art historical context for each group. All items have full catalogue entries, full colour illustrations, and front and back details showing technical features. Ballard Collection rugs in the museum's inventory not exhibited are included with a color reproduction and technical data.

Contents: Chronology; Ballard the Collector; The Ballard Collection in Context; A short Note on Carpet Technique; Catalogue; Appendix; Endnotes; Bibliography.

Walter B. Denny, guest co-curator for the exhibition The Carpet and the Connoisseur, is Senior Consultant in the Department of Islamic Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Charles Grant Ellis Research Associate in Oriental Carpets at The Textile Museum, and Distinguished Professor of Art History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.