Diptych created by New Brunswick mat hooking groups added to Museum’s permanent collection

Two New Brunswick mat hooking groups have created a diptych that has been added to permanent collection of the New Brunswick Museum (NBM). This is the story so far…

In 2008, a group of volunteers in collaboration with the NBM established the New Brunswick Mat Registry (NBMR), a province-wide, bilingual working group, to document all hooked mats in the province 25 years and older.

After 20 full-day registrations in nine communities over ten years, over 600 mats had been documented!

To make this work accessible, the NBMR embarked on a mission to develop a virtual, museum-quality website. In partnership with the NBM, a campaign was launched to raise $70,000, along with an offer to present a hooked mat to donors making a significant contribution.

In 2020, the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation Inc. provided a Signature Grant, but rather than accept an original mat, they suggested a mat could be made for the NBM’s permanent collection.

Commissioned to create it were the Carnegie Rug Hookers from Saint John and Les Hookeuses du Bor’de’lo from Moncton-Shediac. In the form of a diptych, the left panel (Adagio) captures the history of the province’s mat hooking tradition, while the right (Allegro) balances it with a forward-looking, contemporary creation.

When the diptych was finally unveiled by the makers, NBMR members and Museum officials in front of an audience of over one hundred mat hookers, there were audible gasps and admiring ooohs and ahhhs.

Read the full article from Rug Hooking magazine Jan/Feb 2024 issue here.