Art Deco Hooked Rugs: Modernist Folk Art

Lawrence Kearney

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Coffee House Club
20 West 44th St
6th Floor
NY NY 10036

Doors open 6:00pm for cocktails
Lecture 6:45pm
Business attire please

Lawrence Kearney has been a long-time collector of 19th-century American “folk art” hooked rugs. Fifteen years ago while visiting the Brimfield Antiques Market, he came across three Art Deco hooked rugs and was immediately and permanently smitten.The designs of these 20th century rugs were striking, colorful, and resolutely modern, and at the same time were connected to the folk art, “made-from-scratch” aesthetic of earlier hooked rugs.

In his new book on this subject, Lawrence divides Art Deco hooked rugs, made from the late 1920s through the 1950s, into 3 categories:

Pure Deco – rugs composed of strong diagonals, concentric ripples, jagged starbursts and other classic Deco elements in a cool palette of blues, grays, blacks, and maroons to form simple, bold, and easily made floor coverings.

Hybrid Deco – these hooked rugs use Art Deco motifs selectively, combining them with elements from older textile traditions, such as rag rugs, pieced quilts, and Oriental rugs.

Modernist – these pieces, made from the late 1930s up to 1960, also use elements of the Deco design vocabulary, but in a more streamlined and free-form manner, with  considerably brighter and more playful colors.

Lawrence will bring examples of each category and will demonstrate how the Art Deco style in American hooked rugs has evolved during the 35 years.