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Book of the week: The Carpet and the Connoisseur

In a new weekly feature, we highlight a book of rug and textile interest. This week we look at The Carpet and the Connoisseur: The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs.

The Carpet and the Connoisseur: The James F. Ballard Collection of Oriental Rugs by Walter Denny & Thomas J. Farnham

Following several years of extensive research, conservation, and photography, Saint Louis Art Museum’s major 2016 exhibition highlighted 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 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 book includes an essay about James Ballard as a collector by Thomas J. Farnham. A second essay by Walter B. Denny places the collection in a larger art historical and historiographic context. 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 also included with a colour reproduction and technical data.

Shop the book here.

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