Magdalena Briner Eby Rug Donated to Historical Society of Perry County in Pennsylvania
Landisburg, Pennsylvania—The family of Magdalena Briner Eby (1832–1915), internationally known folk artist whose hooked rugs are found in famous galleries and collections, have donated the last remaining hooked rug owned by the family to the Historical Society of Perry County. With this donation, the rug will remain in the county where Magdalena lived and worked. It was important to the family that the rug remain local, both to honor her and to allow the residents of the area to see this important example of her work.
In the photo are Gregg Jacobs (great-great-grandson of Magdalena), Ellen Jacobs (great-granddaughter of Magdalena, who incidentally just turned 100 years old!), and Debra Smith, editor of Rug Hooking magazine (resident of Perry County and fan of Magdalena and her work).
The rug will be on display at the Blue Ball Tavern Museum, Little Buffalo State Park, Newport, Pennsylvania. The group was pleased to accept the rug and made this statement: “The Perry County Historical Society thanks the Jacobs family for the generous donation of Magdalena’s rug. We are honored and pleased to be the new stewards of this important piece of Perry County folk art.”
Magdalena is honored in another way in Perry County. In 2011, a partnership between the Tuscarora State Forest and Rug Hooking magazine led to a facsimile of this particular Magdalena rug painted on the utility building in the Tuscarora State Forest. This building is a short distance from where Magdalena lived as a newlywed and where the Eby family cemetery is located. The painted hooked rug is part of the national Quilt Trail, which features quilts painted on the sides of barns (and other buildings).
For more information on Magdalena Briner Eby and the story of how her rugs were “discovered” and have become so collectable, read Rug Hooking Traditions with Magdalena Briner Eby by Evelyn Lawrence and Kathy Wright.