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October Newsletter 2008

Oriental Carpets in Early Renaissance Paintings:

A New Interpretation

Lauren Arnold

Co-sponsored with the West Coast Chapter of the Armenian Rugs Society

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rugs & Carpets, Inc.

931 North Amphlett Blvd., San Mateo, CA 94401

(Formerly Simonian Oriental Rugs:

same venue, different name and different address number)

Refreshments at 7:00 p.m. Presentation at 7:30 p.m.

Join art historian Lauren Arnold for an evening of visual delights, in her digital presentation of Renaissance paintings done before 1500 that include splendid oriental carpets. Lauren will discuss her new theory on the origin and meaning of animal carpets in these paintings. (Hint: she thinks they’re Armenian!)

Lauren Arnold is an independent scholar and a research fellow with the Ricci Institute at the University of San Francisco. She is the author of Princely Gifts and Papal Treasures: The Franciscan Mission to China and Its Influence on the Art of the West 1250—1350. Her lecture for us grew out of research she is completing for a companion volume to Princely Gifts.

Everyone is encouraged to bring related old rugs or fragments for a show and tell after the presentation. Attendees are invited to bring books as well as textiles that may relate to the topic.

Directions to Rugs & Carpets, Inc..

Gallery is next door to “Simonian Rugs,” which has a large, visible sign. Coming from the north, take the Poplar Ave Exit (417) off of Highway 101and turn right onto N. Amphlett Blvd. Rugs and Carpets is about 1/2 mile down. Coming from the south, take the Peninsula Exit from Highway 101, go over the overpass, turn right onto Humboldt at the first light, go right on Bays Water, and make a right onto N. Amphlett (the frontage road) at the stop sign.

For further information, please call (650) 343-8585 or visit the Armenian Rugs Society website at

What’s Ahead for SFBARS in 2008-2009

November 12th. S.Peter Poullada, “Weavings of the Middle Amu Darya Turkmen: New Findings from the MAD Research Project.” I hope to schedule this at Krimsa (Paul, please


December 7th. Annual Dinner and Silent Auction of the last pieces donated from the John Sommer Collection, at 6:00 pm Sunday evening at Greens Restaurant at Fort Mason, San Francisco. (See invitation enclosed.)

February 4 or 5, 2009. A visiting Speaker in conjunction with the Tribal Arts Show. Topic will be weavings of the Bakhtiyari and other South Persian Tribes. (We will coordinate the date with the Textile Arts Council and deYoung Museum to avoid conflicting with the Jones Memorial Lecture.)

March 10, 2009. New Acquisitions Show and Tell and Moth Market. Members will have the chance to show off their pieces and, if they wish, offer them for sale or trading. To be held at the Eilands’ in Berkeley.

April 30 to May 3, 2009. ACOR conference in St. Louis. Peter Poulada has registration packets, or consult ACOR website ( for details.

End of May (probably the 24th). Annual visit to Jim Dixon's carpet palace in Occidental.

Further Notes . . .

The San Francisco Public Library is showing 1970s era photographs of Afghanistan in the Skylight Gallery. Films on Afghanistan will be shown Thursdays at noon, October 25 and 30, in the Koret Auditorium, on the lower level. A presentation on the Role of Women in Afghanistan will be made on November 16 at 2:30 p.m., also in the Koret Auditorium.

[Members: If you know of upcoming lectures, exhibitions or the like of potential interest to the SFBARS membership, please send the information to]

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SFBARS Board Members

Peter Poullada President

Jon Eldan Secretary

Pat Leiser Treasurer

Jacqueline Van Lang Membership

Elizabeth Shedd Newsletter

Hillary Dumas Website

Jim Dixon

Renee Rausin

Sandra Whitman

Murray Eiland Emeritus

John Sommer, M.D. Emeritus

Members may contact Peter Poullada at

The San Francisco Bay Area Rug Society is a nonprofit organization whose publications and events are supported by your subscriptions. Individual subscriptions are $40 annually, $60 for two people at the same address. Please send renewals, address changes, or subscriptions to Jacqueline Van Lang, SFBARS Membership, 6 Muir Ave., Piedmont, CA 94610. For more information about SFBARS, including information about membership, an archive of past Newsletter articles, rug pictures and other features, please explore the SFBARS website at