James Opie: Stories from the Carpet Trade: A Life in Dealing and Collecting Rugs

After learning about tribal and village rugs in Turkey, Iran, and Afghanistan, James Opie recorded what he learned in two major books: Tribal Rugs of Southern Persia (1981) and Tribal Rugs: Village and Nomadic Weavings of the Near East and Central Asia (1992.) This second book, considered the standard work on its subject, has been translated for Italian, French, and German editions.

James’ deep interest in the origin of the oldest tribal rug motifs led to years of scholarly work. However, he also writes lighter pieces, based on his travels and on memorable individuals he has met. As important as the rugs, the “objects” have been for him, the people were even more important. This, he says, is what draws him to “Hayko’s.” His articles and other writings have appeared in HALI, Oriental Rug Review, Parabola, Material for Thought, Gurdjieff International Review, The New Yorker, and Utne Reader.

A popular lecturer, his only appearance in New York is at “Hayko’s,” as a means of lending support to an Oriental rug store that James refers to as “his very favorite in New York.” His remarks on Thursday, November 19 will focus on individuals, unusual situations, and lessons learned in the course of a life devoted to the art, the culture, and the commerce of Oriental rugs. The talk begins at 8:00. Enjoy meeting James Opie before the lecture. Please join us for an informal wine and cheese reception beginning at 7 p.m.

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