$2,430
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
15
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, October 10 2015 4:06 PM UTC +00:00
$2,430
pledged of $50,000pledged of $50,000 goal
15
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, October 10 2015 4:06 PM UTC +00:00

About

The traditional Persian carpet of today is quite different from what was considered traditional in 1450. In those days all carpets were woven with alternating tile-like geometric motifs, with a geometric so-called Kufic border. But starting in 1410, inspired by the manuscript illuminators in Shiraz, a new style gradually came into being. A whole generation of floral designs dominated by a central medallion is lost to us, although we know about these carpets from many depictions of them in fifteenth century manuscripts. But in the second half of the fifteenth century Shiraz designers provided templates from which the modern Persian carpet was born. This is called the "carpet design revolution".

Sixty carpets have survived from this revolution, which scholars can see, one in one book, two in another, mostly in black and white. What carpet scholarship urgently needs is a single book in which all the carpets are illustrated in color.

But the project goes far beyond this, because once the modern Persian carpet was created in the fifteenth and sixteenth century court workshops it was widely adopted by weavers all over Persia and integrated into the age-old traditions of the villagers and nomad tribes. A very large proportion of all the designs used in Persian carpets in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is derived from the carpets of the design revolution.

The book uses almost 300 color plates to document the pre-1450 tradition, the full detail of the design revolution and the nation-wide spread of all these deigns in the centuries after the collapse of the Safavid dynasty in 1737, a process in effect of one revolution creating the designs and a second revolution integrating the new designs into Persian carpet art which continues right up to this day.

The photo material has already been located and the text is already complete. What is needed is funding to cover the exceptional costs associated with obtaining the photo material and the copyright fees. These are all in addition to the normal publishing costs of layout design, editing etc.

Although at first conceived as a purely academic exercise to publish all the known carpets in what was by any standards a major event in the history of world art, the book quickly became a guide to what this revolution has meant to Persian art for more than five hundred years.

The material is readily available: it just needs funding.

Risks and challenges

I have needed to see as many as possible of the sixty carpets, and this stage is almost complete. I still have to see two carpets in Paris and a few in Florence, which I shall visit this autumn. I have the unlimited support of the museum and academic community and I have been assured that once I have a firm contract with the proposed publisher (Thames and Hudson) the only challenges will be those of possibly slow museum bureaucracy and the need for meticulous attention to detail in finalizing the text

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Funding period

- (59 days)