Virtual Rug Morning: From Ottoman Court Prayer Rugs to the 'Transylvanian' Group and Beyond

Join us online for a virtual edition of our Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning series. In this session, independent scholar Stefano Ionescu shares new research on various Ottoman Court prayer rugs and the Hellenistic, Byzantine, Mamluk, Islamic, and Ottoman influences that shaped them.

About this Program

The survival of several hundred 17th century Anatolian rugs in Transylvania is a unique phenomenon due to a set of geographical, historical, religious and cultural conditions. To better understand the origin and design evolution of these so-called "Transylvanian" rugs, independent scholar Stefano Ionescu will present new research focusing on various Ottoman Court prayer rugs from the 16th-century, and their relationships to the Transylvanian group. He will explore visual and historical connections between these examples and the art, architecture, and cultures of neighbouring areas from the Mediterranean to Persia, where Hellenistic, Byzantine, Mamluk, Islamic, and Ottoman influences flourished.

About Stefano Ionescu

Stefano Ionescu is an independent scholar on Oriental carpets who has dedicated nearly 20 years to the study of Anatolian rugs, starting with those which survived in Transylvania. Based in Rome, Italy, he has published extensively on the topic, including his award-winning book Antique Ottoman Rugs in Transylvania. Ionescu has also led carpet study tours in Transylvania and other regions since 2005. Currently he is involved in a challenging program aiming to produce high quality replicas of "Transylvania" rugs.

How to Participate

You can register for this program online. Space is limited, so we encourage you to sign up early. After you register, we will email you a link and instructions for joining our program online via Zoom. Simply follow that link at the time the event starts (11 a.m. EDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.  

Our regular attendees know that Rug Mornings typically include a show and tell of textiles brought in by participants. In order to simulate this experience virtually, we invite you to submit high-resolution photographs of pieces from your personal collection that fit our theme. Please send your images to us at [email protected] by Thursday, July 16, to be considered (keep in mind that we may not be able to accommodate all submissions).

About Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings

Collectors and experts discuss textile topics and display examples from their personal holdings. You are invited to share related pieces to include in a show and tell. In honor of Harold M. Keshishian