Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Barbara Merry Rugs ...Welcome!

Lucky me to be contacted by Anne who wrote saying she owned some rugs and paintings by Barbara Merry.  Well of course I was over the moon excited to see more of Barbara's wonderful rugs.  Seems Anne and her husband were friends of Barbara and her husband for years.  Here is a photo of Anne with Barbara and a horse rug I've never seen before until now.
I asked Anne if the border was thick as the photo appeared and she said "yes it was shirred".   I recalled having a photo of another BEM rug where the border, rainbow and walkway was shirred, this one not owned by Anne tho.
For you cat lovers Anne also sent a photo of a rug with cats.  Was quite surprised to see the animal rugs hooked by Barbara because most the other rugs I have in her file were landscapes with chickens and the occasional Santa.
Love this Rooster rug hooked by Barbara; note this was hooked before Barbara started signing the rugs with her name or initials.  Frankly, this one appeals to me more than the one below which was shared by another owner of Barbara's rugs.  This first one looks really primitive and I love it.
Here's the other Rooster rug which I acquired a photo of in 2019.  It seems to me that Barbara was trying to develop her hooking style to be more of a painterly appearance.
Anne was kind enough to take photos of correspondence between her and Barbara, including invoices for purchases and status on a sheep rug which was almost done.  In the letter she said the sheep had a red barn and trees and measured 21 x 30.  
This hooked rug must be of her home and husband feeding the chickens.
This is a photo of Barbara's home which Anne was also kind enough to share with me.
I have photos of oil paintings by Barbara also and with documentation of the significance of the place and event.  I'll keep those back for now and let you digest what you've just seen.  It is wonderful to continue to keep  alive the memory of those who were here before us in this art we know as rug hooking.  Hope you have enjoyed the post.

If anyone out there has a BEM rug I'd love for you to share.

Happy hooking.



  1. I, too, like the first chicken better than the second....also like the sheep. I'm not real familiar with Barb Merry..... It will be interesting to see her paintings. ~Robin~

  2. I love how she signed her rugs. I also love that she took from her life and hooked what she knew

  3. Wow !!! So many beautiful rugs & how nice to meet Ann & share ! How do the shirred edges hold up , they must not be put on the floor ????

  4. Fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. I have never heard about folk artist Barbara E. Merry until now. I had to look at some of her rugs online. I've noticed that she has her own unique style for her trees at least. I saw a rug on Skinner Auction of a house, cloudy sky with yard and trees estimated price was $800. to $1200. 27 inches wide x 46 1/2 inches long.

    I didn't fined much information on Barbara but I didn't dig very deep.

    Hugs, Julia

    1. Passed away at age 100 . In spring of 2022.

  6. There is a shirred geometric that was hooked by Barbara Merry many years ago, that has been professionally mounted, in the home of friends in Kennebunkport.
    I will see if they mind sharing it...I have lots of pictures.

  7. Sorry...
    The rug I mentioned was not is hooked and all the loops have been cut...or often referred to as shirring here in New England. It softens the look of the rug...but is also an "acquired" taste for most rug hookers and collectors.

  8. Being the prim person I am, I do like the first rooster. Interesting post and loved reading about a former rug hooker. What a great talent she was. Janice

  9. Barabara Merry is my grandmother, she has a hooked rug hanging in the Blaine house and the Baltimore Art Museum.

  10. Passed away in spring of 2022 at the age of 100 yrs.


Thanks for taking the time to visit and I always welcome comments.