The 27 rugs were collected by Mrs.
The rugs were made during the golden era of the art -- 1850 to 1925 -- but very few of them can be attributed to a maker or a specific date as most were done by women working in their own homes. Hooked rugs have been called "America's one indigenous folk art."
Some scholars attribute the origins of rug hooking to the early Egyptians. It is believed to have been brought to the New World by the British, spreading throughout
Linen was one of the original backing materials but as burlap sacking became more popular as a material to transport products such as coffee, tobacco, grain and other dry goods, more rug makers began using it. Many of the Renfrew rugs use this kind of backing. Burlap had several advantages: it cost little to nothing, it was sturdy and it was easy to work with.
Rug patterns would be roughly drawn on the fabric, encompassing images from animals and flowers to portraits or geometric designs.
The exhibit is free.
For viewing hours and more information, call 762-4723 or visit www.renfrewmuseum.org.
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