Family Holdings: Turkish Flat Weaves from the Keith Achepohl Collection

September 15 – December 23, 2012

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University will present “Family Holdings: Turkish Flat Weaves from the Keith Achepohl Collection” in an exhibition that runs from Sept. 15 through Dec. 23.

This exhibition features 46 Turkish flat weaves from one of the finest private collections in the United States and includes superb examples of 19th and 20th century rugs (kilims), saddle bags, storage bags and dowry pieces that were made by the nomadic people of Turkey. For centuries these nomadic herders have lived in black goat-hair tents and traveled with their sheep and goats from winter to summer pastures. Camels and donkeys that were once used to transport belongings have now been mostly replaced by small pickup trucks as this nomadic lifestyle has continued. Their vibrant, durable and beautiful weavings represent an art form that is both decorative and functional. The bold geometric symbols reflect the hopes, fears, dreams and aspirations of the weavers who made them, ranging from a happy marriage and many children to protection from the evil eye. Photographs and nomadic Turkish music provide an additional opportunity for people to step into the lives of these remarkable people.

Keith Achepohl first became intrigued by Turkish flat weaves when he traveled to Turkey in the early 1960s. Since that time he has made numerous trips to Turkey and has continued to grow his collection. Achepohl currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is a professor emeritus of printmaking from the University of Iowa.

“Family Holdings: Turkish Flat Weaves from the Keith Achepohl Collection” has been organized by Director John Olbrantz and collector Keith Achepohl and has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. in Salem. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Monday. General admission is $3 and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free and admission is free on Tuesdays. For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit

The public is invited to participate in these additional free events that accompany this exhibition:

Friday, Sept. 14 from 5-6 p.m. in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Achepohl will provide an illustrated lecture about his Turkish flat weave collection.

Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall in the Willamette University College of Law, Ron Marchese will give an illustrated lecture entitled The Disappearing World of Turkish Nomads: The Use and Function of Material Culture as Expressions of Life and Heritage. Marchese will talk about the history, cultures and weaving traditions of nomadic Turkey. Marchese is a distinguished professor of ancient history and archaeology at the University of Minnesota, Duluth.

Gallery Talks
Tuesdays, Sept. 18-Dec. 18 at 12:30 p.m. Join a docent for a guided tour of the exhibition.

Evening for Educators
Tuesday, Sept. 18 from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. This free workshop is open to all teachers who would like to bring their classes to see this exhibition. Topics will include tour strategies and ideas that reinforce the gallery experience and broaden curriculum concepts in the classroom. Advance registration is required. Call 503-370-6855.

Family Activity Day
Saturday, Oct. 13 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Children, accompanied by an adult, can explore the weaving process by creating their own hand-woven textile piece with artist Sonia Allen; watch weavers Wanda Jenkins and Pam Patrie spin wool and weave on a loom in the style of Turkish weavers and join storyteller Yvonne Young for Turkish folk tales at 1 and 3 p.m.

Heybe/saddle bag, Turkey, Central Anatolia, 20th century

Heybe/saddle bag, Turkey, Central Anatolia, 20th century

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