A warm collection of colorful designs highlights a show of hooked rugs at the Mount Desert Island Historical Society’s Old School House Museum.
The exhibit incorporates rugs from several regional Maine “schools” or types, of hooking, with pieces dating as far back as the late 1800s.
As a historical collection, “Three Centuries of Hooking” holds much value and interest. Along with some incredibly well-preserved rugs, curator Judith Burger-Gossart has included early rug-hooking tools, stacks of books old and new about the craft, and generous amounts of written information, placed strategically throughout the show.
Visually, the exhibit also is compelling. Designs ranging from baroque floral patterns to simple bucolic scenes present a range of styles, tastes and techniques. Rugs made by early unschooled rug-hookers showcase utilitarian flare, while complex and intricate creations represent those who elevated the craft to art.
Rugs from several regional styles of hooking are featured, including those that centered around Waldoboro, the Cranberry Islands, and the Maine Seacoast Mission in Bar Harbor.
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