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Founders' Gallery

Origin of the craft and it's evolution as a fine art appears to have been along the waterways where early colonies were established and east of water-based transportation was available.  Variations in the art bordering the long Atlantic coastline led museum researchers to organize a "hands across the border" organization of volunteers, which has united the North American continent in a coordinated effort to preserve the heritage of this primarily women's art form.

The struggles for dominance in the New World at times threatened the marginal existence of pioneer settlements as privateers raided ill-defended coastal settlements.  The women of coastal communities defended their log cabins and gardens of flax, corn and potatoes with pitchforks, brooms and sometimes subterfuge. 

The Founders' Gallery in the museum will recognize the rug hooking women in both Canada and the United States who were heroines during a period of colonial conflagration.  These women stood strong in the face of military actions by both British and US forces that could have spelled their demise.  This gallery is being created loop by loop, in rug hooking terminology, as volunteers from the the United Sates and Canada hook rug art by hand (just as in the days gone by) to commemorate this painful period in the development of the "art of survival".

Born in the humble settlers' gardens, Acadian rug hooking often featured the flax plant, which provided a source of fibres that were then woven into homespun fabric.  Amongst the treasures of this first museum are very rare burlap twine rugs hooked on burlap backings which have aged gracefully into a richly mellowed gold tone.

Chester Red Coat Women


Suzanne Conrod hooked this beautiful rug depicting the women of Chester, Nova Scotia defending the village of Chester during the War of 1812.  This is just one of several rugs in the War of 1812 Exhibit.

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