Kentuckians have practiced the art of handweaving for more than 200 years.
Techniques represented in this exhibit range from overshot, double weave, and tied-beiderwand to latch hook rug making and weaving on a hand loom. Often anonymous, the weavers whose work is represented in it include individuals who wove for domestic use, professionals who earned their livelihoods from weaving, and skilled enthusiasts who strove to keep craft traditions alive in the 20th century.
Although the textiles in Even Coverlets Get the Blues are primarily functional in nature, they illustrate aesthetic decisions regarding design and color choices that historically were and are part of the weaving process. Today’s weavers and fiber artists value the craft as much, if not more, for its artistic possibilities than for its utilitarian purposes.
The exhibit also touches upon the significance that Kentuckians Lida Calvert Obenchain (Eliza Calvert Hall) and Lou Tate Bousman, Fireside Industries of Berea College, the Little Loomhouse, and Churchill Weavers had in the preservation of handweaving in Kentucky.
In addition to featuring 12 coverlets, one hand-loomed bedspread, one rag rug, and one latch hook stair runner, the exhibit makes use of weaving-related photographs, printed materials and handwritten documents housed in Library Special Collections, WKU.
Museum visitors are invited to learn more about this important Kentucky craft tradition.
Even Coverlets Get the Blues