Arthur T. Gregorian
Arthur T. Gregorian was an American success story. During the turmoil of WW I, a 9-year old Arthur fled with his family and neighbors from their ancestral village of Rahvah, on the shore of Lake Urmia, on the edge of Kurdistan in Azerbaijan Province of Iran. His book Armenag's Story chronicles his family's escape from Persia and resettlement in the United States. In the midst of the Great Depression, Arthur withdrew all his money from a local bank--$700--and came to Wellesley, partly to follow his high school sweetheart who was then enrolled in Wellesley College, and partly to open his first store. The following day the bank failed, but his marriage to Phebe Ballou endured.
A gifted storyteller, Arthur rented a tiny space in Wellesley and sold rugs by visiting potential customers in their homes and offices. He once told a college president that his office should be graced with a rug from his store because "no one can behave badly in a room with an Oriental rug." On another occasion, an antique rug from his collection was stolen. He told an AP correspondent that the rug was cursed. After the story broke, the rug was found the next day on the steps of a local church.
In addition to Armenag's Story, Arthur published Oriental Rugs and The Stories They Tell, a classic consumer guide to oriental rugs; and Armenian Rugs from the Gregorian Collection, in collaboration with his late daughter Joyce Gregorian Hampshire, an account of the Armenian Christians' role in rug design and weaving.
Arthur T. Gregorian was an avid collector of rare and antique Oriental rugs. His unique collection of Armenian rugs is housed in the Armenian Library and Museum of America. His second collection, Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route from the Gregorian Family Collection, exemplifies the wide range of influences that come into play in Oriental rug art. The collection is a virtual survey course on Oriental rug art. It has been extensively exhibited at museums and universities throughout the U.S.
Arthur introduced his son John and grandson Scott to the rug weaving centers and mysterious trading practices of the rug-weaving countries of the world, establishing a three-generation company that continues to grow and contribute to our understanding of the art and culture of the Oriental Rug.
Arthur passed away in 2003.
John B. Gregorian
By age 17, John B. Gregorian was traveling regularly to Middle Eastern bazaars, learning rug-buying strategies from his father. Today, as CEO of the company, John continues the Gregorian tradition of serving as a center for education on the art and culture of oriental rugs. He conducts a popular adult-education course on oriental rugs and supports A Rug Weaver's Tale, a multicultural initiative by his daughter Melissa that brings the magic of Oriental rug art to area schools. John sponsors Antique Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route from the Gregorian Family Collection, an open-to-the-public exhibit of over 120 rare examples of 18th through 20th Century rug weaving. He has been written about in The New England Antiques Journal. John's most recent book, Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route, that was published in the spring of 2000, is a unique journey to the world's finest oriental rug-making centers, a captivating and informative reading, and an authoritative reference for rug enthusiasts.
John is a consumer advocate and champion of ethical business practices in the Oriental rug industry. As president of the Oriental Rug Dealers Association of Massachusetts for many years, John has been responsible for judicial action against illegitimate merchandising practices.
He and his wife Judith have three children, Scott, Melissa and Jennifer.
J. Scott Gregorian
Scott Gregorian is the third generation to serve in a management capacity with the company his grandfather founded in l934. As a child of 10, Scott first began to visit the rug weaving centers of the world with his father and grandfather. Today, Scott plays a vital role in finding and buying unique, hand-woven rugs directly from India, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Armenia and the Caucuses. In addition to the traditional markets of the Silk Route, Scott works with major European rug trading centers in London, Hamburg and Frankfurt.
Scott's informal and highly informative lectures on oriental rug art, history, and maintenance are delivered to a wide range of audiences throughout New England. In addition, he participates in the educational programs in concert with exhibits of Antique Oriental Rugs of the Silk Route from the Gregorian Family Collection, a virtual survey course on the subject.
Scott graduated from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey and Northfield Mt. Hermon School, Northfield. He is a member of Newton Rotary, IFDA and NARI. Scott is married to Sarah; he has also served as a board member for the Rotary Club of Newton, Armenian Library and Museum of America, and the Newton Boys and Girls Club.
School and Outreach Program Director
Melissa directs the Gregorian school program for children and community outreach education. Melissa, a certified pre-school lead teacher and K-3 teacher, created A Rug Weaver's Tale from stories her grandfather, Arthur T. Gregorian, told her about his childhood in the Middle East.
Focused on education for grades K-3, the program fosters the development of positive values with regard to multiculturalism in America, and develops a broader range of skills and knowledge. Melissa is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the Association for the Care of Children's Health.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Life from Wheelock College in 1994, which included 300 hours of student teaching at Angier School in Newton, and at the Park School in Brookline. Melissa is married to Paul and is busy raising a family.