Textile Art

150 Years of Rug Hooking

Grenfell Mission, Newfoundland and Labrador 1935–1945. Silk or rayon, cotton, burlap, 33 x 45 cm.

The travelling exhibition Home Economics explores the unique stories and histories behind Canadian hooked rugs, a form of folk art with roots in 19th-century North America.

Designed by Clarence Gagnon Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec, 1930-1940 Wool, animal hair, burlap. 70 x 99 cm.

The exhibition features over 100 hooked rugs from the Textile Museum of Canada, representing generations of artisanal entrepreneurship, women’s domestic and collective work, as well as rural development in Canada.

Heather Goodchild, Journey (2010), 97 x 166 cm, Wool and burlap, Collection of Scott Lauder. Photo by Evan Penny

If you are into hooked rugs, or Canadian folk art, you may have caught the show in one of its many stops across the country.  It wraps up this month in Chatham, Ontario, at the Thames Art Gallery, through June 30.

Deanne Fitzpatrick, School of Fish (c. 1995) 93 x 172 cm, Various materials and burlap., Collection of Ruth Mandel. Photo: Maciek Linowski

“Featuring examples of material reuse and recycling by early Canadian settlers to today’s thriving art practices, Home Economics highlights the same impulses at play over two centuries – craft innovation that embraces aesthetic practice, traditional technique and vernacular design,” notes for the exhibition explain.

Nancy Edell, Peter and Nancy as the two-headed Dog (1993), 66 x 93 cm, Various yarns and burlap, Dalhousie Art Gallery permanent collection, gift of the artist, 1999. Photo: Steve Farmer

See more on the exhibition website, here.

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