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Hooked on Rugs: typical & traditional American design
Aug '08
The hooked rug represents a beautiful and utilitarian decorative art, part of a rural craft tradition thought native to North America held from August 10, 2008 to January 4, 2009. Hooked rugs evolved from the eighteenth-century heavy handsewn bed coverings known as “bed rugs.”

These works gradually found their way off the bed to add warmth and color to chilly floors in rural homes. Current scholarship indicates that rug hooking developed in the 1830s on or near the Maine coast and quickly spread to other rural areas in the Northeast, Pennsylvania, the Midwest and parts of maritime Canada.

Of all North American needlework, hooked rugs often display the most original designs. There were no early professional patternmakers–even when commercial patterns became available later in the nineteenth century, the tradition of homemade patterns was well established and women continued to produce their own original designs.

These ranged from depictions of the maker's house and familiar farm animals to florid floral arrangements and bold geometric patterns. Occasional inspiration was found in the subjects of popular prints.

The exhibition will include nearly a dozen examples of these lively works that reflect the creativity and ingenuity of their rural makers.

Allentown Art Museum

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