from Michele Hardy:
I am very sad to announce the passing of Robert Fyke, a long time war rug collector and researcher on January 21, 2009. I met Rob when I took up a position at The Nickle Arts Museum at the University of Calgary in 2005. Rob approached me with the idea of curating an exhibition of war rugs and introduced me to some of the most enigmatic examples of textile art I have come across. I was hooked and we became close friends and colleagues. Rob conducted an extensive review of the available literature on war rugs, probing the dark recesses of the Internet and library for obscure references and historical information. He was a regular visitor to the Rugs of War Blog, keeping me abreast of upcoming exhibitions and where in the world Nigel Lendon was. In 2006 we mounted “Made in Afghanistan: Rugs and Resistance, 1979-2005” at The Nickle Arts Museum. The exhibition included twenty-five war carpets along with photographs by Luke Powell, selections of poetry by Khallilulah Khalili, and music by Farhad Darya. It was Rob’s vision to create an exhibition that spoke to the complexities of the political turmoil in Afghanistan. It was a wonderful exhibition and I was privileged to work with Rob.
As saddened as I am with his passing, I am pleased to announce that his collection of carpets, as well as his research and books, have been donated to the Nickle. I look forward to engaging students with this material and continuing to research and exhibit it in the future. Thank you Rob for your friendship, your enthusiasm, and your generosity. I will miss you.
Michele A. Hardy
Curator of Decorative Arts
The Nickle Arts Museum
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada