|The Sun Bow Story|
In 1977 the initial Sun Bow Trading Co. crew was inspired to create a purely tribal,
nomadic and village textile art gallery. We strongly felt that this genre of
textile art was not being given the attention it deserved in the oriental rug
world. There were very few, if any, tribal and nomadic specialists worldwide.
The original Sun Bow partners were Saul & Majid Barodofsky, Susan Ida Smith,
later Gary Muse, and finally Ananda Cronin.|
We felt that the original -- and most collectable -- of all oriental rugs should
be recognized and have their own presentation. And we felt that they should
be offered by individuals who knew precisely what they were showing and were
able to provide an in-depth background on the peoples who made them. The questions
of provenance and intended usage were important criteria to present to the
public, as well as the ever-important distinction of "Art."
Our backgrounds were in Art, History, and Clothing design. We were all world experienced
travelers who had visited the weaving regions of the Middle East, and we believed
that source location would be our edge in securing both the best examples and
the best prices for our customers.
Sun Bow has always considered itself a textile art gallery. We have presented many
Charlottesville exhibitions of a groundbreaking nature. Among others, we held
the first showing of "Tulus" (hospitality rugs from central
Turkey), the first North American exhibition of Middle Eastern Women�s handwork
("By the Hands of Fatima"), the first North American exhibition
of the textile art from the western Ottoman Empire/Eastern Europe ("Thracian
Textiles"), Traditional Clothing from the Silk Road, and an exhibition
of non-woven textiles from the Middle East (including felting, knitting, embroidery,
beading, wrapping, and twining). All the above were exhibited in our gallery.
We have also exhibited in other galleries throughout the United States: Prayer
Rug exhibitions, Art on the Floor (Kilims as Art), Antique Kilims, Bags
and decorative Weavings, and Pictorial Tribal Textile Art, among others.
very nature of this business lends itself to working closely with museums and
universities. Saul Barodofsky is a frequent lecturer at the Textile Museum in
Washington, D.C. and a guest curator at the Bailey Museum in Charlottesville,
VA, among others. Furthermore, Sun Bow is a source for museums� acquisition
of textiles from the tribal world. A good number of our "finds" have
been featured in museum exhibitions and books. Sun Bow also offers lectures
and slide shows of both our travels and our textiles. These slide shows and
lectures have been held at universities, museums, rug conferences and rug societies
all over the United States.
the most famous of Sun Bow�s museum exhibitions were the Yurt Exhibitions. Sun
Bow owns two yurts, a Kazak and a Khirgiz, that we located and secured in Chinese
Turkistan. These felted, round nomadic dwellings are the only two completely
and originally furnished yurts in the West. It was important for us to have
the yurts appointed with the exact furnishings of the nomadic families who lived
in the dwellings -- not recreated with what we think they should have, or might
date, the yurts have had 5 museum showings. They have been very well received
by both the public and the media. Everybody loves a yurt!
we locate our acquisitions as close to the makers as humanly possible, we must
travel to their home countries. To date we have made over 70 trips into the
Middle East. We have visited Turkey, Northern India (for the Tibetan refugees
and the Banjara Gypsies), North East Pakistan (the Khyber Pass and the Afghan
refugees), Chinese Turkistan (for the Eastern Turkomans - Uyghurs and Uzbeks/Kazak/Khirgiz
nomads), Egypt (for the Bedouins), Tashkent (for central Asian textiles), Cyprus
(for embroideries), and Daghistan and Azerbaijan (for Caucasian pieces). And
we�re not done yet.
Saul Barodofsky & the Sun Bow Crew |
Past Crew Members:
Susan Ida Smith, An Original Kilimji, World Traveller, & Massage Therapist;
Majid Elbers, Creative Seamstress; Gary Muse, Famous for his Collection
of Bits & Pieces; Anne Breaud, Textile Artist & Needlepoint Specialist;
Scott Boltwood, PhD, Old English & Gaelic Literature; Stephanie
Owens, Video & Life Artist; Lusana Santosa, Modern Artist &
Curatorial Specialist; Adam Geiser, Fullbright Scholar, Islamic Studies;
Fawn Pattison, Linguist, Artist, & World Traveler; Greg Bottoms,
Author; Jake Bushings, Jazz Musician & Farm Manager; Lisa Williford, Graphic artist, with scholarly emphasis in
Art History & Archeology & Olivia Johnston, Anthropologist;
Linda Samuels - fiber artist, and enthusiastic specialist of early Americana arts and crafts
Present Sun Bow Crew:
Saul Yale Barodofsky, Historian and Frustrated Ethnographer;
Stephanie Tanner, Textile Artist; Barry Matthews - a martial arts enthusiast and a quick study; Ananda Cronin,
Nurse Practitioner and World Traveler Extraordinaire.
We've been outfitting caravans |
from Downtown Charlottesville since 1978.