Friday, February 6, 2015

Hagley Museum

This info. was passed on to me and I thought it was worth sharing with all of you. I think it would be an awesome show to see if you can get there.
Good Afternoon,

I am sending this letter out to others I know could possibly be interested in the upcoming exhibitions.  I know some of you live far away from Wilmington, DE, but this sounds like a very interesting exhibition and the possibility of seeing quite an extensive display of hooked rugs from the 1800’s.  

I received a phone call last week from Vanessa Spence, EAD & Community Development Assistant, at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, DE.  She found my name some way and wanted to run something by me to see if I thought people would be interested.   The Hagley Museum is a part of Winterthur and Longwood Gardens.  

Info regarding Hagley copied from their website: "Hagley Museum is the former industrial site of the original black powder works of the DuPont Company, founded in Delaware in 1802 and powered by the natural resources that surrounded it. Today it is 235 acres of wooded rolling hills along the rushing Brandywine River dotted with hundreds of stone ruins of the black powder industry, dozens of restored buildings associated with the business, and the original ancestral home and gardens of the du Pont family in America. Here, for more than two hundred years, the DuPont Company and family experimented, innovated, and pursued the American dream."

Vanessa then went on to explain that there is a hooked rug, 9 x 12 feet, that was hooked by Nancy DuPont Reynolds Cooch in the 1940’s and completed in the 1950’s.  This rug shows the history of the DuPont family and business from the early 1800’s starting with the ship that the family arrived on in the U.S.  The rug reminds me of a folk life rug or story rug.  The curator at the museum, Debra Hughes, said that it is on burlap and they are working to keep it in it’s best shape.  The thread is nylon, not wool.  It was made with DuPont synthetic fibers and dyed using the new dyes at that time to create the colors used in the rug.  It is in remarkable condition.   Mrs. Cooch donated this rug to the museum in her later years and was aware they were planning an exhibition, but passed away last Monday.  
This exhibition begins on March 20, 2015.  There will only be this one rug on display at this time, but other plans for another exhibitions are in the making as below:

They also informed me that the museum has at least 100 hooked rugs in their collection starting from the 1800’s.  These rugs were owned by Mrs. Louise DuPont Crowningshield and she collected them over her lifetime.  She died in 1958.  They are now in the early stages of planning an exhibition of these rugs which will be coming in the future after some renovations of the residence take place.  

For additional information about the museum, go to www.

Please forward this information to other guilds in your area, especially in PA, MD, DE, VA, etc.  

Deb Burcin, President of the Woolwrights in Lancaster County, PA

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