An historically significant rug hooked by Lucy Trask Barnard will be seen publicly for the first time at a rug show at Readfield’s Union Meeting House on Saturday, Aug. 10.

READFIELD — An historically significant rug hooked by Lucy Trask Barnard (1800-1896) of Dixfield Common will be seen publicly for the first time at a rug show to be held at Readfield’s Union Meeting House from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, during the town’s Heritage Days celebration which is always held the second weekend in August.

Three of five rugs known to have been hooked by Barnard are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and two were recently donated by family heirs to the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland.

According to family lore, Barnard made many rugs during her lifetime so other unidentified rugs may still survive. Made on a linen foundation is an indication that this is the earliest rug of those known and likely dates prior to 1850 when burlap became available in this country. The rug is being loaned by rug collector Joseph Caputo of East Pittston.

Other unusual rugs on loan from Caputo include one hooked entirely of corn husks, a feat that required much dedication since the husks had to be soaked in warm water for pliability. Another rug was hooked entirely of raveled burlap, an indication of the creativity among women without access to more conventional and costly materials. A shirred rug demonstrates the creative initiative among women who did have access to more conventional goods.

A Waldoboro rug will be loaned by Mildred Cole Peladeau, curator of the show and author of “Rug Hooking in Maine 1838-1940.” Also from the Peladeau collection will be an example of a yarn-sewn rug, an Edwards Sands Frost rug, and a little-known funeral rug. The latter type was used as a casket spray during the winter months when flowers were not available. These rugs will generally have a black background and a “broken” floral wreath to signify a break in the family circle.

Makers of hooked rugs are invited to enter their work for display in this exhibition of handmade rugs, both old and contemporary. The rugs should be in good condition and not badly frayed or damaged. Drop off rugs between 7-9 a.m.

Admission is free but donations are accepted to benefit the Meeting House’s ongoing restoration.

The Union Meeting House is at 22 Church Road. For more information, call 207-685-4725 or email [email protected]

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