Threads Through Time-Hooked Rug and Centerpiece

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Unknown artist
Rug, Hooked, early 20th century
Wool, burlap
On loan from the Old State House Museum, Little Rock

 

Unknown artist
Centerpiece, date unknown
Thread embroidery on linen
On loan from the Old State House Museum, Little Rock

 

Career options for women in the 19th and early 20th century were limited to such areas as teacher, shopkeeper, factory worker and nanny. Women, especially of the middle and upper classes, were primarily relegated to keeping house. A woman’s house was her domain, and a reflection of herself and status in the community.

One way that a woman could express herself and be creative was in the decoration of her home. These “home arts” included rug making, embroidery, quilting, upholstery, and weaving. They were more than just leisure activities; her skill with a needle and thread were on display. The items she created did more than keep her family warm; they also brightened a room and added color and pattern. These “home arts” are the foundation of contemporary fibers.