Rugs — they’re not just for walking on.
In the case of a special exhibition of Turkish kilims on display this week at the Spencer Museum of Art, they also express the history, culture and tradition of the people who crafted them.
“Elegance Under Foot: Turkish Weavings” features a group of flat-weave tapestries hailing from small villages throughout Anatolia and the Kurdish regions of Turkey. A pair of Kansas City friends, collector Harrison Jedel and artist Dale Eldred, acquired the rugs, which date from the late 19th century through the 1960s.
Traditionally created by women, kilim-weaving techniques are passed down from mother to daughter, according to the museum. The carpets displayed at the Spencer are all made of hand-dyed sheep’s wool, with many colors derived from natural materials, such as safflower.
“The carpets offer rich resources in the realms of art, textile history, religion, design and Turkish culture,” Susan Earle, the museum’s curator of European and American art, said in an announcement. “Collected during a high point of kilim weaving in Turkey, these flat-weave rugs provide a fascinating glimpse into an exceptional art form and the culture that created them.”
“Elegance Under Foot” will be open through Sunday at the Spencer, 1301 Miss. on the Kansas University campus (note the museum is closed Wednesday for the July Fourth holiday). For more information, visit the musuem's website.