DMA Insight

Rugs and Fans in the Reves Collection

Wendy and Emery Reves's interest in textiles was wide ranging. Their collection contains examples of European silk fabrics and velvets, embroideries, lace, vestments, and bed covereings. However, their most distinguished accomplishments were in the area of rugs and fans.

In total, the Reveses assembled a fine group of approximately thirty rugs during the 1960s and 1970s. The collection remains mostly intact, with twenty-four examples in the Dallas Museum of Art.

Unlike most of their contemporaries, the Reveses were not particularly interested in rugs from Asia Minor. Rather, they built a collection that illustrates the weaving in southern Europe, especially Spain. To document the influence of specific types of Asian rugs on European design, the couple also collected a small number of pieces from Egypt, Turkey, and India. To procure exceptional examples, they worked closely with the well-known Parisian firm of Tarica, Ltd. Furthermore, Emery Reves corresponded widely with numerous specialists in the field, including Ulrich Schürmann, L. Bernheimer, Kurt Erdmann, Friedrich Spuhler, Angela Volker, and Charles Grant Ellis.

The fan collection was of particular interest to Wendy Reves. She collected nearly 110 examples dating from the early 18th to the early 20th century. The more than thirty fans now in the Dallas Museum of Art's collection represent the core of her 18th-century holdings.

Adapted from

Dallas Museum of Art, Decorative Arts Highlights from the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection (Dallas, Texas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1995), 25.

Web Resources

Dallas Museum of Art
Read more about the 2007 DMA exhibition A Painting in the Palm of Your Hand.

Fan Association of North America
Watch a demonstration of the language of fans at the 30th Assemblage of the Fan Association of North America.