The fantastic Wyeth exhibit is getting all the attention these days (and rightfully so). But, there is always much more to see at the Denver Art Museum.

Old world decorative arts

such as colorful hand-woven rugs captivate me when I think about the tedious work and long hours to complete. The exhibit at the museum called Creative Crossroads is not large but it’s the quality that counts, right?

Before or after you go, consider visiting the Central Library to enrich your experience. The Reference Room (3rd floor) has a small collection of the magazine, Hali, the International Journal of Oriental Rugs and Carpets with holdings from 1978 – 1983. Since they are stored in closed stacks, feel free to ask for them at the Reference Desk. They contain insightful articles and wonderful illustrations. Even the rug advertisements are delightful to browse.

I recommend browsing Volume 5, No. 2, 1983. You will find some interesting articles, colorfully illustrated, discussing the early history of oriental rugs. Research indicates that rugs may have decorated palaces in Assyria, Egypt and Persia as early as the 1st millennium B.C.E.

Books to Check Out

The library has a rich collection of illustrated books about woven rugs from contemporary to Navajo, European and Oriental.

  • Contemporary Rugs Art and Design by Christopher Farr, Matthew Bourne & Fiona Leslie. 2002.
  • The Book of Rugs: Oriental and European by Ignaz Schlosser. 1963.
  • Shahsavan Iranian Rugs and Textiles by Parviz Tanavoli (translated from the Persian by Iran Ala Firouz). 1985.
  • Oriental Rugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by M. S. Dimand, Curator Emeritus of Islamic Art. 1973.
  • One Hundred Years of Navajo Rugs by Marian E. Rodee. 1995.
  • Reflections of the Weaver's World: The Gloria F. Ross Collection of Contemporary Navajo Weaving by Ann Lane Hedlund. 1992.

Reference Book Collection in Western History and Genealogy Department

For even more resources, have a look at the rug collection in the Western History & Genealogy Dept. at the Central Library, 5th floor.

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.