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Two Women with a Passion

One art collector and one rug hooker meet at a summer art festival, and a partnership begins.

By: Kathy Wright

Yellow House Rug. Hooked by Ethel Walton,Lebanon, Ohio. This rug was inspired by a piece in the American Hooked and Sewn Rugs

This story begins in summer 1970 when Alexandra (Sandra) Reynolds and Ethel Eleanora Fuhr Walton met at the Summer Festival of Craftsmen at Caesar's Creek Pioneer Village near Waynesville, Ohio. Ethel, dressed in colonial clothing, was demonstrating rug hooking; her booth was filled with rugs she had hooked and was offering to sell at the festival. Sandra, a patron of American folk art and an avid antique collector, was drawn to Ethel's perception of color and purchased one of Ethel's rugs. Soon after, Sandra commissioned Ethel to hook the first rug in what would become a collection of over 40 pieces.   

Of the rugs Sandra commissioned, a number of them are miniatures; most of the miniatures were only 2.75" x 4", and a few were slightly larger. Ethel also made five rugs to be displayed during the holiday season in a seven-room dollhouse located in the lobby of The Golden Lamb, a historic Inn in Lebanon, Ohio. A larger rug, depicting The Golden Lamb lobby during the holidays, was commissioned in 1977 and was portrayed on The Golden Lamb Christmas card in 1978.

This article is from the September/October 2010 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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