An Overview of our Stockholm Conference in 2011

In June of 2011, ICOC organized a smorgasbord of discoveries, receptions and festive cultural events that drew enthusiasts and aficionados, expert collectors, scholars and dealers from around the world.  

June is an ideal time of year to visit these wonderful northern cities with their rivers, canals, cultural sites and architecture. So, the 12th ICOC was held in beautiful Stockholm June 16-19, 2011. In addition, an art-filled pre-Conference tour took many participants to Copenhagen and a post-Conference tour followed to St. Petersburg, Russia. This highly popular event alone had 112 registrants and capped off an unforgettable 12th ICOC experience.


The conference in Stockholm, capably organized by Chair Anette Granlund and her team of local volunteers, featured many educational lectures from international experts, assembled by our Academic Chair, Alberto Boralevi and his dedicated Academic Committee. A robust International Dealers’ Fair and several exhibitions of rugs and textiles from private collections added vitality and diversity to the programs. A special exhibition organized by Annette Rautenstengel focused on the Eagle-group of rare Turkmen carpets and trappings. A handsome 221-page color catalogue, edited by Anette Granlund, was printed: ICOC XII: Stockholm 2011.

Evenings were filled with convivial receptions and visits to exhibitions at several museums and the Royal Palace. Many eyes were on the world-famous ‘Marby’ rug, as well as 17th century Transylvanian rugs, glorious ‘Polonaise’ carpets, colorful 18th century Swedish folk art textiles, and the widely published Safavid silk velvet coat that belonged to Queen Christina.  


The pre-conference tour to Copenhagen featured a new installation of the David Collection, which has one of the finest collections of Islamic Art in Europe. ICOC visitors viewed a choice small Mamluk rug, a large Seljuk carpet, a ‘Salting’ rug, a millefleur Mughal rug, an early Persian Safavid carpet and fabulous early Islamic textiles, as well as many outstanding European works of art.  

A tour of the Rosenborg Royal castle, built by King Christian IV in 1606, included the "The Knights' Hall,” with its twelve tapestries from 1675-1679 that commemorate the King's victories in the Scanian War. This Hall also displayed all the 17th century Coronation ‘Polonaise’ carpets that were on view together exclusively for our ICOC group.  

Copenhagen’s Museum of Applied Arts displayed seversl interesting Islamic textiles and we visited the Royal apartment at Amalienborg Palace where the Royal family lives today. A leisurely boat tour under the bridges of Copenhagen gave us a sea-view of this picturesque Danish city and its harbor.  


With enormous and tireless assistance from Dr. Elena Tsareva, local curators and ICOC officers worked together to create an ambitious program for the post-Conference tour to St. Petersburg, Russia. It promised to be one of the highlights of the many ICOC events. And a record number of participants for this sold-out tour were not disappointed.  

Demonstrating excellent organization for such a large group, 112 eager attendees had rare private access to many famous carpets and textiles in the storage rooms of the world famous Hermitage Museum. Many of these pieces had never before been available for viewing. We marveled at the venerable Pazyryk Carpet and other magnificent Scythian art.  

The Russian Museum of Ethnography hosted a lovely reception and, in small groups, gave us rare entry to its storage areas for unparalleled access to the museum’s fabled collection of Central Asian carpets. We were also treated to a special rug exhibition, organized exclusively for the ICOC by its renowned former curator, Dr. Tsareva, now at the Kunstkamera Museum, where we saw an exceptional collection of Central Asian ikats. The Peterhoff Museum, the Grand Museum, and the Tsarkoye Selo Palace Museum were also visited.

A catered boat tour on the River Neva and St. Petersburg’s canals gave us a unique perspective of Peter the Great’s ideal city and its noble architecture. Our visit to the splendid Pavlovsk Summer Palace added another touch of Royal splendor to an amazing ICOC experience.

The members of ICOC’s Executive and International Committees thanks all who attended these events for their interest and continuing support of our unique educational and entertaining programs. Please visit our website frequently for updates about coming events, as well as a source for purchasing our publications.

Also, some information will be posted from time to time on our Facebook page:!/pages/International-Conference-on-Oriental-Carpets/192869306455

Dennis Dodds
Secretary-general, ICOC

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