Thursday, November 5, 2009

Night at the Museum

Last night 14 lucky people got to have a "behind the scenes" evening with the rug collection at the Textile Museum of Canada. It was the second evening for rug hookers to go and learn more about the history of hooked rugs in Canada. The first was a presentation in September about "rugs and commerce" in Canada.

Last night's session was a very interactive experience of admiring, touching (with white gloves) and learning about several of the rugs in the collection. We also got to see some of the antique hooks in the collection. I didn't have my camera with me, but all the rugs are featured on the Museum's website. Plus, Jennifer Manuell took a lot of photos - and notes - and will be posting soon on her blog.

The rug shown here was one of my favourites. It's hooked from handspun wool, plus some roving on the sheep. I found it very timeless - almost contemporary in it's look. And the amount of detail was extraordinary compared to many of the others that we saw. It was hooked somewhere between 1925 and 1940 in Quebec. And the back was almost more beautiful than the front.

Many of the rugs were in a sorry state of disrepair, and not as much is known about many of them as about their quilt contemporaries, but they were incredible to see all the same. They ranged from the extremely primitive rugs (like those of the Gagetown Hookers) to really sophistocated designs created by two well-known Quebec painters who hired women to hook them. And of course, a few of Grenfell mats to complete the entire experience. What a privilege to get to share this collection with 2 of the curators.

I highly encourage you to spend some time on the website and take a look.  And be sure to watch Jen's blog for her post.

For those of you who are close enough to go to the Museum, there is also an incredible quilt display on right now, featuring 47 quilts owned by the Tannenbaum family. They are pretty remarkable as well.


Julie said...

Thanks for the information Wendi and of course, the shortcut to the Textile Museum.

I will be going to that the next time I am in town.

maureenm said...

I am green with envy - would love to be close enough to see the Textile Museum, not to mention getting to go 'backstage'! My fleeting family visits to TO don't allow for much in the way of sightseeing.

It is a great website!
thx, maureen

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