The interplay between traditional Persian carpets and modern art can create a deeply memorable eclectic environment. Here, the exquisite flowing patterns and warm, muted hues of an oversize Persian Manchester Kashan carpet create the perfect counterbalance with the graphic lines and cool colors of the Lichtenstein that hangs above it.
OAKLAND, CA.- In this first segment of a two-part series, Jan David Winitz, president and founder of Claremont Rug Company, recalls one of his fondest memories. It was a telephone call that he received from a client after having placed a series of antique Oriental rugs in a “run up” to a seminal oil painting that graced the wall of a substantial mid-1800’s century residence in Greenwich Village.
“The lady, an avid art collector, had acquired more than a dozen rugs to set off a multi-million dollar signature painting. She called to tell me that a sum cost significantly less than the artwork, the rugs brought her even more enjoyment than the painting itself,” Winitz said, “She definitely wanted me to know that.”
Claremont’s trove of rugs, some 2500 in number, is entirely from the Second Golden Age of Persian Weaving, ca. 1800 to ca. 1910.
That great art and the best antique Oriental rugs enhance each other in a room or in an entire residence is not unusual for Winitz, who opened his Gallery in 1980. After all, he has clients such as a couple in the Midwest who own pieces by Willem de Kooning and Gerhard Richter, and also are avid rug collectors. Another client has built an important trove of 120 rugs for the less than the cost of the Lichtenstein that hangs in his residence. Among his clients are also collectors of works by Chuck Close and Roy Lichtenstein.
And it is not happenstance.
For decades, Winitz has been discussing with his clients that Persian and tribal rugs from the 19th century have influenced artists from Monet to Kandinsky as well as Holbein, Vermeer, Matisse and Klee, to name a few.
There are even photos, published in the New York Times, from Claude Monet’s bedroom and workshop/living room in Giverny which show 19th century tribal rugs.
“Antique Oriental rugs complement both classic and modern art because they influenced it. The colors and patterns have direct affinity with the artwork,” says Winitz, “and our clients, many of whom are extremely knowledgeable collectors of multiple forms of art and antiques, are deeply passionate about melding sculpture, paintings, furniture and rugs into an impactful setting.”
In part two, Winitz will discuss specific examples of working with clients to build collections and to create an interior design element that reflects tastes of the residence’s owner while bringing attention to the art and furnishings.