The New England Rug Society

A community of rug and textile lovers

The New England Rug Society (NERS) began in the 1980s, growing to be one of the largest and most active rug societies in the US. The resources for those interested in rugs and textiles expanded in the early 2000s, with a set of themed online exhibitions still available and enjoyable today. Starting in 2020, NERS began offering webinars that have been very popular, and extended the NERS community around the world. Now, NERS has members in ten different countries and growing, and recent webinars have typically drawn attendees from 30-50 countries. So wherever you’re from, enjoy the resources of our website, participate in our activities, and join the group!

Upcoming Events

Webinars

On December 10 at 12 noon ET, NERS will co-sponsor DeWitt Mallary, on The Intrigue of Baluch Rugs, hosted by The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum. The webinar is also co-sponsored by TMA/SC. 

DeWitt is a longtime NERS member who has collected, written, and lectured about Baluch rugs for 40 years. His presentation will share many of the finest examples of Baluch rugs and bags and will discuss what makes them outstanding.

Registration Link:

12/10/22 Mallary Registration Link

A New Perspective on Anatolian Kilims, presented by Ali Riza Tuna and hosted by TMA SC on January 14, 2023 at 1pm ET with NERS as a co-sponsor.

Registration Link:

1/14/23 Ali Riza Tuna Registration Link

Hosted by NERS with our co-hosts GW University Textile Museum and Textile Museum Associates of Southern California: Gunnar Nilsson will explore Swedish textiles, starting with such better-known types as röllakan, embroideries, and Flemish weaves. Then he will introduce lesser-known types, which never come up in foreign auctions or major Swedish sales. Although such lesser-known textiles are mostly of middling or low quality, they include a few outstanding pieces that can easily compete with the best Flemish-weave and röllakan examples.

Registration Link:

2/11/23 Gunnar Nilsson Registration Link

Silk and Wool: Crosscurrent Influences in Turkish Rugs and Textiles with longtime NERS member Gerard Paquin on March 18, 2023 at 1pm ET.

Part of the mystery and appeal of oriental carpets is their ability to borrow designs from a wide range of sources. This presentation will document the influence of Ottoman textile designs on Turkish rugs, and the impetus for those artistic borrowings. It will also examine the impact of rug design on textiles, and the use of both as architectonic elements, in tent as well as town.

Registration Link:

3/18/23 Paquin Registration Link

Meetings

Presenter: Raoul “Mike” Tschebull

Topic: “Sources and Evolution of Transcaucasian Village Rug Design and Color”

Date: Saturday, December 3, 3 p.m. [Moved from November 20.]

Location: Durant-Kenrick House, 286 Waverley Ave. Newton, MA

Abstract:

After 1802, when Russians initiated their takeover of the Transcaucasus, village-based commercial rug weaving began to develop. Designs came from everywhere; sophisticated dye use already had a long history in the area. This combination of fresh designs and expert dyeing yielded rugs that rivaled the beauty of those from any other region or culture. By the 1880s, production of these Transcaucasian rugs had boomed; by about 1920, under intense commercial pressure, it had almost completely crashed. Mike’s presentation will examine the sources and changes in design and color of Transcaucasian village-based commercial rugs over this short period—how these rugs went from world class to pedestrian.

Meeting attendees are invited to bring Transcaucasian rugs for a show-and-tell following Mike’s presentation.

Membership

We’re an informal group of many differing backgrounds and pursuits, all of us with a common focus: an intense appreciation of — and an ongoing curiosity about — antique oriental rugs and ethnographic textiles. Our members range from internationally known collectors to rank beginners. The only prerequisite to being welcomed as a member is an appreciation for the art form and a willingness to learn and share.

Join NERS and gain access to our growing archive of rug and textile webinars. Members also receive a copy of our latest newsletter via email, and of course, all members are invited to attend our in-person programs as well as our annual picnic.

In-person meeting with James Opie at the Durant-Kenrick House in Newton, MA
Webinar from Jim Ford on Persian Medallion Carpets, speaking here on the cloud collar motif in other art forms

Newsletter & Online Exhibitions

Newsletter

Titled View from the Fringe, our newsletter provides members with information regarding scheduled NERS events, upcoming textile exhibits, conferences, auctions as well as a summary of the previous meeting’s presentation.

Online Exhibitions

Starting in 2002, the New England Rug Society introduced a series of online exhibitions showcasing member pieces.  There are currently 6 exhibitions available. Please enjoy a visit to our online galleries!