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

Season three will open with Professor Walter Denny, who was our first webinar presenter in September 2020. Please join us on September 24, 2022 at 1pm ET for What the Hell is That? Encountering Unknown Carpets in Museum and Private Collections and the Marketplace. Walter will share some surprises and puzzles he has found while surveying carpet collections for over five decades.

Registration Link:

9/24/22 Denny Registration Link

On October 8 at 1pm ET Professor Luca Emilio Brancati will speak to us from Italy, on Afghan War Rugs: 1979–2022. He will focus on the development of Afghan war rugs from the Russian era until the present—a development that the late George O’Bannon called “one of the most interesting phenomena in rugdom.” Dr. Brancati organized the first exhibition of Afghan war rugs and has the only known collection consisting exclusively of war rugs dating from the Russian period.

Registration Link:

10/08/22 Brancati Registration Link

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. 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.

Additional description and a registration link to be added later.

Swedish Textiles from 1680 to 1850 featuring Swedish textile expert Gunnar Nilsson on February 11, 2023 at 1pm ET. TMA SC will co-sponsor this NERS program.

Additional description and a registration link to be added later.

Silk and Wool: Cross Currents in Influences in Turkish Rugs and Textiles with longtime NERS member Gerard Paquin on March 24, 2023 at 1pm ET.

Meetings

Presenters: Gerard Paquin and Marilyn Denny

Topic: Tours of their collections

Date: Saturday, October 1, 2022, 11 AM ET; rain date Sunday, October 2, 2022

Locations: Hatfield, MA and Amherst, MA

Abstract:

As a special event, long-time collectors Gerard and Marilyn have generously agreed to show rugs and related textiles from their respective collections to NERS visitors. Due to space limitations, attendance is limited to two groups of twelve, each group visiting one venue in the morning and the other that afternoon. Reply before September 20 to Lloyd Kannenberg ([email protected]). Should more than 24 members respond, attendees will be selected in order of response (with others wait-listed). Lloyd will send registrants directions to each session, instructions about which session to attend first, and information about lunch between sessions.

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!