Rug Hooking In Maine 1838-1950

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Overview

This fresh and scholarly look at a century of rug hooking in Maine demonstrates the significant role non-woven rugs have played in American decorative arts. True Waldoboro rugs are explored in detail and the myth of "Acadian" rugs is explained. Edward Sands Frost manufactured preprinted burlap rug patterns in the mid-19th century that spawned competitions across the country. By the 1880s, summer visitors helped organize cottage industries that turned Maine's rug-hooking talents into income producers. The Arts and...
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Overview

This fresh and scholarly look at a century of rug hooking in Maine demonstrates the significant role non-woven rugs have played in American decorative arts. True Waldoboro rugs are explored in detail and the myth of "Acadian" rugs is explained. Edward Sands Frost manufactured preprinted burlap rug patterns in the mid-19th century that spawned competitions across the country. By the 1880s, summer visitors helped organize cottage industries that turned Maine's rug-hooking talents into income producers. The Arts and Crafts movement in America led to new and exciting styles of rug patterns in Maine, and by the early 20th century, artists pushed the craft of rug hooking in to a fine art, with Marguerite Zorach's designs among the prominent examples. This lavishly illustrated book has over 250 color photographs that highlight the extraordinary story of rugs created throughout Maine and eastern Canada, including popular maritime designs by men of the seas.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764328824
  • Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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  • Posted January 22, 2009

    comprehensive history and study of all aspects of Maine hooked rugs

    As Peladeau shows, the field of Maine hooked rugs is surprisingly complex. It's certainly more involved and more fertile than ones who know it simply as a category of 'Maine hooked rugs' realize. The field is given complexity and richness by different periods, rug makers, regions, and skills. The author brings all these elements out by an uncommon depth of research sustained by an intertwined personal and professional interest. She lectures on aspects of the topic, has organized exhibitions, and collects research materials on it. Peladeau finds, for instance, that in the 1859 Maine Charitable Mechanic Fair, three rugs were exhibited. But she goes beyond this fact to relate what it says about the field at this moment in its history. That only the few rugs were exhibited indicates 'that interest in rugs had waned somewhat...' and even more, that the small number indicates that interest in rugs at the time 'was centered in the Portland area' and other crafts such as quilts and shell box work had come into greater favor. Such continual details and commentary on what they tell about Maine hooked rugs makes for not only informative, but engrossing reading on the field. Hooked rugs continue to hold appeal for many collectors and others in the antiques' field because they are a genuine folk art with old Maine and New England associations. Rug hooking was a traditional skill passed on to young woman. Hooked rugs served practical and decorative purposes in homes before surviving ones became desirable collector's items as homes became modernized and the frontier and Victorian tastes and skills they represented passed away. This comes through in Peladeau's text where she relates how rug hooking originated in particular places and spread to others in her portrayals of individual rug makers or hooked-rug businesses and detailed descriptions on how the rugs were made, which in some passages are specified to the point of reading like how-to instructions. But the visual matter especially imparts the folk-art aura of hooked rugs which makes them perennially appealing. The diary entries, the old pamphlets, the period photos of woman rug makers and old shops where they were made impart a feel for the combination of ordinariness, industriousness, and inventiveness distinguishing folk art. The many photographs of the farm animals, birds, flowers, patterns, and borders of hooked rugs all in varying degrees of primitive style impart this essential quality of such rugs too. Peladeau¿s book is for collectors and the like looking for a discriminating understanding of Maine hooked rugs. The rugs always have an appeal for their folk-art appearance and association with Americana and traditional New England crafts. But for readers whose appreciation is enhanced by knowledge of weaves, recognition of regional variations, awareness of stages of development, and the like, Peladeau's book is for them.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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