Archives for posts with tag: Barbara Barran

Grayson Perry, Royal Academician, Turner Prize winner and fêted contemporary British artist? Meet Marguerite Zorach. Several years ago your scribe hit pay dirt in a charity shop. Ann Wiseman’s 1969 book Rag Tapestries and Wool Mosaics introduced your scribe to American modern artist Marguerite Zorach (1887-1968), and it was Zorach herself who introduced Wiseman to the art of hand-hooked rugs. Although Zorach is undeservedly little known in Europe, your scribe nevertheless suspects Perry’s tapestry series “The Vanity of Small Differences” owes a direct or indirect debt to Zorach. COVER has been granted exclusive permission by Zorach’s grandson to publish the following image.

The Ipcar Family at Robinhood Farm, Maine” (1944) by Marguerite Zorach. Copyright Dahlov Ipcar. All rights reserved. Photograph courtesy Robert Ipcar (the young boy with the airplane). Click to view a larger image.

With a mastery of multiple media and diverse stylistic influences from the Fauves to folk art, it would underserve Zorach to classify her solely as “a textile artist”. Zorach’s prolific output includes domestic tapestry panoramas, but unlike Perry’s tapestries, Zorach created each with her own hands. Choosing as her subject what others might see as rote domestic mundanity, Zorach knew these vignettes were fleeting treasures, and she captured her genius loci in an intimate way that allows subsequent audiences to feel kinship with her view of “earthly paradise”. Her work also contradicts the claim “Tapestry is the art form of grand houses”. So revelatory is Zorach’s technique, delivery and subject matter, your scribe has no qualms placing her on a par with British artist Sir Stanley Spencer.

Country Evening by Marguerite Zorach, c. 1940. Oil on canvas. Copyright Dahlov Ipcar. All rights reserved. Photograph courtesy Gerald Peters Gallery, New York.

The Zorach story did not end with her death in 1968. Her daughter Dahlov Ipcar (born 1917) is a well-known American artist, illustrator and writer. For those like your scribe who lament they will never own a Zorach tapestry, there is good news. The Classic Rug Collection licensed a selection of Ipcar’s illustrations and translated them into limited edition hand-stitched pillows and rugs. Barbara Barran, Founder and President of Classic Rug Collection told your scribe, “I gave one of these rugs to Dahlov, who put it in her bedroom, then did an oil painting of the rug in her room. Chaming! The painting sold immediately.”

Your scribe is only willing to share the news of Classic Rug Collection’s Dahlov Ipcar limited edition because she has already bagsied her trove. For the rest of you? Get in there quick before Grayson Perry buys up the lot. You will be buying the best of American art. DJ

Celeste by Dahlov Ipcar. Wool on cotton rug. Classic Rug Collection. Design copyright Daghlov Ipcar. Image courtesy Classic Rug Collection.

Lion by Dahlov Ipcar. Wool on cotton pillow. Classic Rug Collection. Design copyright Daghlov Ipcar. Image courtesy Classic Rug Collection.


The Northern hemisphere’s Dog Days of Summer officially ends this week. Scorching hot days and low rainfall were believed by the ancient Romans to be the domain of the dog star Sirius. But aside from scattered hot, dry days, England has been cloaked in rain for months. What brightens our day? Exclusives from our friends. COVER pulls out the office megaphone to announce Classic Rug Collection’s latest line, the 20th Century Collection.

Barbara Barran designed the 20th Century Collection (with a single exception – Bo Lundberg’s Manhattan rug which COVER blogged about last week). The luxurious, hand knotted collection officially launches during the Fall market, but Barbara, Yasmin and colleagues are giving COVER’s readers an exclusive preview. DJ

Contempo. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Deconstructed. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Italiano and Checkerboard Beauty. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Slanted. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Slanted. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

We all have Madeleine moments when a memory sparks to life in an atavistic, uncontrolled flash. Proust famously structured the narrative of his epic multi-volume novel À la recherche du temps perdu on the concept of voluntary and involuntary memories. The most famous event in the novel was his memory of the taste of Madeleine cakes.

Your scribe had a Madeleine moment when she reviewed the rug designs of the Classic Rug Collection. But like the quip about London buses – you wait for ages for one to come and then two arrive at once – your scribe didn’t just enjoy one Madeleine moment, but two.

Koi rug designed by Dana Vladone for Classic Rug Collection. Photograph courtesy Classic Rug Collection

Koi is a hand-knotted New Zealand wool and banana silk rug designed by Dana Vladone for Classic Rug Collection. Nishikigoi are ornamental koi fish. The Japanese word translates to English as “brocaded” fish. How evocative and appropriate for a rug, made more so by the knowledge that in the Japanese language koi is a homophone for the word for “affection” or “love”, making the “brocaded” carp symbols of those virtues. Your scribe’s parents hand built a koi pond in the garden of our Kāneʻohe home. Those happy memories are brought back by Vladone’s design.

Volcano rug designed by Barbara Barran for Classic Rug Collection. Photograph courtesy of Classic Rug Collection.

The hand tufted linen Volcano rug was designed by Barbara Barran after she visited Italy’s famous Mt Etna. The low loop linen “lava” flows off the edge of the higher pile black ground to create a fish tail fillip to what would otherwise be a traditionally shaped rectangular rug. Doing so captures the essence of lava flows, i.e. flow direction can be predicted but not guaranteed. Your scribe became besotted with volcanoes at a young age when she and family stayed at Volcano House hotel on the rim of the Kilauea volcano in the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.

Find your Madeleine moment. It might be a rug, it might be a photograph, an aroma, or a fragment of music. These opportunities are everywhere, and when we find them and if we are fortunate, they will provide comfort and solace. And isn’t this precisely what our homes and the objects in them are meant to provide? DJ

“Take me back to Manhattan, Take me back to New York. I’m just longing to see once more, My little home on the hundredth floor!”

Cole Porter’s lyrics sum up the magnetic pull of New York city – Manhattan and the boroughs. And whether or not you live on the hundredth floor or in a home far from New York’s fabled attractions, New York real estate can be under the feet of fans everywhere with the newly launched hand tufted wool, silk and linen “Manhattan” rug by Bo Lundberg for Classic Rug Collection.

Manhattan by Bo Lundberg for Classic Rug Collection. Photo courtesy Classic Rug Collection.

If you aren’t familiar with Lundberg’s name do a quick image search. His commercial, editorial and artist output have appeared internationally and you will instantly recognise his distinctive and appealing style. Your COVER scribe asked Lundberg to provide the background to his Manhattan rug, and in his own words:

I visited New York for the first time in 2006 and everywhere I went I saw maps of Manhattan. I decided to do my own version of the map once I came home to Stockholm. I ended up doing three images as a thank you card to my agent in New York, Stephanie Pesakoff, and the map was one of them. I remember that I was still jet lagged when I did it. In January this year Stephanie started the company Stampa, that sells limited edition prints online, and we both thought that the Manhattan image would be perfect. I decided to do some new color options and I picked one of them that I thought would work as a print. And I believe that’s where Barbara Barran at Classic Rug saw it. I had been doing a lot of sketches for textile patterns for a while, just for my own satisfaction. I didn’t quite see this one as a potential rug, but I am glad that Barbara did. I did some textile patterns for a company in the UK a few years ago, but this is the first time any of my designs have been translated into a rug. I have several designs laying around so I hope to be able to see some of them produced at some point. I love doing products, I think it brings an extra value to my images.

Barbara Barran is the founder and chief designer for the Classic Rug Collection. It’s no surprise she spotted the rug potential for Lundberg’s design. Like Cole Porter she “happens to like New York”. So if like your scribe a part of your psyche longs to be a New Yorker, snap up this rug and revel in a bit of New York (and Swedish) magic. DJ