Rug and Textile Appreciation Morning: What Is a Jewish Carpet?

Detail of a textile with a menorah motif at the center
Mamluk Torah curtain (parokhet), Egypt, c. 1500-1550. Museo della Padova Ebraica, Padua.


Alberto Boralevi began his research on rugs and carpets with Jewish features or Hebrew inscriptions in the 1980s, when they were mostly overlooked both by carpet scholars and specialists in Jewish art. There are several difficulties for considering Jewish carpets as a specific group, since fundamental differences in origin, age, design and technique can be found among them. Boralevi defines Jewish carpets as any carpet or rug with a Jewish design, Hebrew inscriptions or any other feature that could prove that it was woven by Jews or commissioned by a Jew or for a Jewish purpose.

In this virtual presentation Boralevi will show the most recent results of his research and the various types of weavings that can be considered Jewish carpets, from a period ranging from antiquity to the present day.

About Alberto Boralevi

Alberto Boralevi is a dealer and researcher of antique carpets and textiles. He has lectured around the world; published numerous articles, books, and catalogs; and consulted for museums and private collections. As chairman of the International Conference on Oriental Carpets academic committee Boralevi organized conferences on Oriental rugs in Milan (1999), Istanbul (2007), Stockholm (2011) and Washington, D.C. (2015 and 2018). He also organized the fifth International Symposium on Azerbaijani Carpets in Baku (2017). In 2011 Boralevi received the Joseph V. McMullan Award for Stewardship and Scholarship in Islamic Rugs and Textiles from the Near Eastern Art Research Center of New York.

How to Participate

This program will take place on Zoom. To participate, please register online, and we will email you a link and instructions for joining. Simply follow that link at the time the program starts (11 a.m. EDT / 8 a.m. PDT). When you register, you can also request to receive a reminder email one day before the program with the link included.

About Rug and Textile Appreciation Mornings

Collectors and experts discuss textile topics and display examples from their personal holdings. This series is named in honor of late Textile Museum trustee emeritus, Harold M. Keshishian. Browse upcoming programs