Talking Turkey about a Vanishing Weaving Form

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), October 4, 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Talking Turkey about a Vanishing Weaving Form


Byline: Bob Keefer The Register-Guard

On Keith Achepohl's first trip to Turkey, during his honeymoon more than four decades ago, he happened to buy a traditional woven bag of the kind made by women from the region's nomadic tribes.

As Achepohl puts it today, the little bag "wasn't very good, because we didn't know very much about them then."

Nevertheless, he was entranced by the bag's woven geometric patterns, its arcane symbolism and the fact that it seemed to have been fashioned by an anonymous woman with no notion that she might have created a work of art.

That first purchase ignited a fire. Achepohl, a professor of printmaking who would go on to head his department at the University of Iowa, returned to Turkey on a Fulbright fellowship in 1984.

Over the course of regular trips to Turkey every year or two, Achepohl, accompanied by University of Minnesota historian Ron Marchese, became a skilled collector of flat weaves, developing a network of contacts in rural markets and learning more about the simple prayer rugs, everyday rugs, storage bags and saddlebags used in the nomads' day-to-day lives.

And he had an inspiration.

"Maybe the third time I was there, I realized that I maybe could do something that hasn't been done: I wanted to make a collection to show the beauty of this weaving in Turkey, as it was on the wane."

The result of Achepohl's collecting fervor is on exhibit through Dec. 23 at the Hallie Ford Museum at Willamette University in Salem, where museum director John Olbrantz calls the collection one of the most significant in the country.

Forty-six rugs and bags from Achepohl's collection fill the museum's main exhibition gallery. Pieces range from small bags like one that might once have held a rolling pin to long narrow rugs and covers that might have been used in a nomadic family's tent.

One of the things that spurred Achepohl to buy weavings and bring them home was the fact that they represented a dying art form.

"We traveled there about 15 times in search of weavings, but we realized they were getting to be pretty rare," he says.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Talking Turkey about a Vanishing Weaving Form
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?