National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Shaker Rug Shaker Rug
Rendered by George V. Vezolles (artist), 1935/1942
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 56.8 x 39.6 cm (22 3/8 x 15 9/16 in.)
Index of American Design
Not on View
From the Tour: Shaker Crafts from the Index of American Design
Object 4 of 17

Although the various Shaker communities shared the same beliefs and organization, differences were reflected by certain designs. This rug, from Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, shows an exuberant decorative pattern not found in rug designs of the New England communities. Shakers used several techniques for rug-making, including braiding, tufting, and shirring. In each case, wool threads or pieces of woolen cloth were sewn to a cloth base. This rug was made with dyed rags shirred and sewn to a gunny sack backing. Shaker rugs were often colorful and the designs lively; this one suggests a symmetrical scheme that has gone slightly awry.

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