Textile Art – A Conversation about Aesthetics

Tom Cole

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Thomas Cole is best known for his eye for textile art and, more recently, photography. A contributing editor for HALI since 1991, he has written a number of ground breaking articles on Tibetan, Chinese and Baluch rugs. Drawing upon a lifetime of field experience, “in situ”, Cole’s eye and thoughts on how he views and what he personally likes has evolved over time. Views which he will share with us on January 21st.

Born in Springfield, Illinois, Thomas Cole’s family moved to the San Francisco area when Thomas was 6 years of age. Thomas grew up in the Bay area and attended the University of California at Berkeley. At age 19 Thomas left college and traveled to India in search of an alternative area of study inspired by Asian art. An area of study which would deeply influence Tom’s life forever.

Thomas has lived and traveled extensively throughout Central Asia, Pakistan, India and Tibet. He’s considered by many as an expert in the rugs, textiles and weavings of Tibet and Central Asia. Thomas has authored 5 books and 15 magazine articles, 11 in HALI Magazine and 2 in the Oriental Rug Review. He has curated over 10 Exhibitions on rugs, textiles and photography in San Rafael, California and New Orleans. Thomas has made presentations to the Hajji Baba Club, ICOC, ACOR, museums and many other oriental carpet and textile societies.

Recently, Thomas has endeavored to fight the fear and doldrums of the COVID pandemic with his very popular weekly email series “Distractions for the Mind and Eye”. Thomas’s “Distractions” series has been enthusiastically received and is followed by over 650 oriental carpet and textile enthusiasts, collectors, curators and dealers. No doubt, Thomas’s Hajji Baba Club presentation will be an insightful, educational and entertaining experience for all.