Drawing, Design for Hooked Rug with Geometric Pattern
This is a Drawing. It was from the office of Donald Deskey and drafted by Donald Deskey and manufactured by Aird & Watson. It is dated ca. 1934 and we acquired it in 1975. Its medium is brush and gouache, graphite on cream illustration board . It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.
Minnesota-native Donald Deskey (1894 to 1989) made a significant contribution to the popularization of modern design in America with a prolific career that spanned from decorative arts objects to packaging design to prefabricated housing. Deskey was equally versatile in his designs for carpets — from western-themes of cowboy hats and boots with spurs to this drawing for a geometric pattern for a rug. Often beginning projects with involved sketches, the designer explored abstract constructions by using mostly subtle colors and rectangular shapes juxtaposed against a series of tiny black circles. Early American hooked rugs date from the 1850s and were hand-crafted by pulling loops of fabric through a stiff base (usually burlap). But in the 1930s, hooked rugs gained a modernist caché as artists and designers began experimenting with new styles and machine looping became a preferred method of production, particularly on the East coast. (Deskey had many of his woven by the New England Guild in Portland, Maine.) This study — seemingly inspired by the simplicity of abstract painting — reflects an exciting period in the history of the modernization of the decorative arts.
This object was
It is credited
Gift of Donald Deskey.
Its dimensions are
29.2 x 24.2 cm (11 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)
It is inscribed
Inscribed in graphite, upper center: I think black is too strong with / red & green & tan; in graphite, center left: Dont / like / this / [arrow] / area; in graphite, lower left: Green should be darker & greyer more like your sample. / Red should be more orange - see enclosed.; in graphite, lower right: [arrow] / this / could be red?; on verso: Aird & Watson / Textile Bldg / 32nd on 5th Ave / Mr Mahoney / Colors tufts / New England hooked rugs
Cite this object as
Drawing, Design for Hooked Rug with Geometric Pattern; Office of Donald Deskey (American, 1894–1989); USA; brush and gouache, graphite on cream illustration board ; 29.2 x 24.2 cm (11 1/2 x 9 1/2 in.) Mat: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.); Gift of Donald Deskey; 1975-11-44