Truly Tribal in South Persian Weavings

Jim Opie

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Online via Zoom @ 1pm ET / 10am PT

This program is a partnership with the Textile Museum Associates of Southern California

In this talk, James Opie will explore the topic of weavings from southern Iran emphasizing their importance in the canon of Persian weaving, as well as sharing essential assumptions. He will distinguish between urban influenced motifs and indigenous or tribal patterns by way of multiple images. By comparing various tribal confederacies in southern Iran, such as the Qashqa’i, Khamseh, Luri, Bakhtiyari and Afshar, he will further analyze the differences between urban influenced and indigenous examples. He will also examine other mediums of art and their impact and connections to southern Iranian rugs.

Born in Ohio in 1939, Jim received a BA from Ohio University before teaching in public schools. In 1970, an attraction to Oriental rugs and Islamic architecture led to his first of twenty trips to the Middle East and Central Asia. In 1975 he opened a retail rug store in Portland Oregon. His first book, Tribal Rugs of Southern Persia, appeared in 1982 and his second, Tribal Rugs: Nomadic and Village Weavings from the Middle East and Central Asia was published in England and the United States in 1992. A McMullan Award recipient, James has written innumerable articles for HALI, Oriental Rug Review, and Parabola. Now retired, Jim and his wife, Cathy, reside in upstate New York, near Albany.

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