Volkmann-Treffen 2010

Berlin, October 22 - 24, 2010
in collaboration with the Museum of Islamic Art
Staatliche Museen of Berlin

Ausstellung München 1910
Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear Friends,

a hundred years ago, on May 14, 1910, the exhibit Masterpieces of Muhammedan Art opened in the exhibition space of the halls of the city of Munich, bordering to the west on the Theresienwiese. Only in the fall of 1909, out of the idea to show the Carpets of the Munich Residence, a plan arose to combine in one exhibition outstanding "Masterpieces" from all areas of artistic creation of the Islamic world.

In the preface to the 3 folio volumes of the scientific catalogue Friedrich Sarre outlines the final idealistic purpose which ultimately led to the exhibition: "Among the presentation of old works of art only a few had the enduring influence to deepen the knowledge or open new areas of art for science and the general interest." The idea was in the air, and it may have been in the nature of things that the Viennese rug exhibit of 1891 and the Exposition des Arts Musulmans 1903 in Paris had to be followed by a larger and more comprehensive exhibition of Muhammedan Art.

Together with the members of the hastily created committee of the art historical working group and despite the extremely short period of time allotted, Friedrich Sarre succeeded in this endeavour in an extraordinary fashion which today would be impossible to recreate both in quantity and quality.

"After the rediscovery in Vienna and Paris of the artistic importance and beauty of the antique oriental carpet, the carpet reconquered the position it had held in the households of the civilized West, and thus began the scholarly activity in this extraordinary field of oriental artistic creation," continues Sarre. He says that museums and collectors would show increased interest and that "really only now art historical scholarship was beginning to be fully engaged in the entire field of Islamic art." He emphasizes in his preface "the effort to let the works of art take effect solely by their own quality". One knew that "a certain dullness of the spaces, the absence of colour effects and of fantastic mass groupings" would be conceived as harsh and not met with applause by all.
The official catalogue lists 3553 objects, among them 195 carpets and 34 fragments of older oriental carpets as well as 737 fabrics and embroideries. The names of the lenders listed convey the impression of absolute internationality and let us marvel about the collaboration at the beginning of the 20th century of the museums of Amsterdam, Florence, Constantinople, St. Petersburg, Stockholm and Vienna with the local ones and their representatives, how close a network of dealers and collectors there must have existed.

The Volkmann Treffen 2010 is taking the Munich exhibition of 1910 as a point of departure to report in a series of papers about the start of a serious discussion of the oriental carpet in scholarship, and to shed light on the perimeter out of which the exhibition grew, to talk about the effect which makes this event of a hundred years ago unforgettable. There was a conscious effort to play sparringness as an antipole to the popular conception of oriental art, to the fairy tale splendour and the wares of the bazaars.

In the Berlin of 2010 one thinks about the new order of the Museum of Islamic Art. New steps are taken with the inclusion of the Keir Collection into the permanent one. The single object has no longer preferred status, but the collection as a whole is the work of art. With the change in light and with the strictest limitation to 50 lux, the carpet rooms win over the interest of the visitors who, fascinated by the richness in colour of the textile objects, will slow down and linger. We will have to talk about that, too.

We have planned a dinner for the participants of the Volkmann Treffen for the evening of Oct. 23, 2010 in the restaurant "Humboldt's 2" of the Hotel Park Inn, Berlin - Alexanderplatz. All participants have to do their own final accounting for dinner (Buffet Euro 17 per person) plus drinks.

I cordially invite you to Berlin for the weekend of October 22 to 24.

With best regards

Christian Erber für Volkmann-Treffen 2010

Please remember that it is never too late for registration!
But, early registrations facilitate the work.

You can stay at the Hotel Park Inn Berlin - Alexanderplatz which is in walking distance from the Museum of Islamic Art.
We were able to obtain special rates available under the password "Volkmanntreffen 2010" at Euro 129 for a double room, Euro 119 for a single room per night, incl. all taxes. Please keep in mind that availability of rooms is not limited until the beginning of October. Thereafter the hotel reserves the right to limit availability unrestricted until Sept. 16, restricted until Sept. 23. All rooms have showers or baths and WC and the breakfast buffet is included in the room rate.
Please make your own reservations as soon as possible.
  Hotel Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz
Am Alexanderplatz
10178 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0) 30 - 23 89 - 4333
Fax: +49 (0) 30 - 23 89 - 4546

NB: The Volkmann Treffen 2011 will take place in collaboration with the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin from from October 28 to 30.
We celebrate the 40th birthday!

Copyright © 2010 Christian Erber