On Saturday, May 1, the downtown Farnsworth Art Museum at 16 Museum St. will open a new exhibition, “Rug Hooking in Maine and Beyond.” The exhibition is being organized by guest curator Mildred Péladeau, author of “Rug Hooking in Maine 1838-1940,” and will be on display in the museum’s Crosman Gallery through the end of the year.

For a century, hooked rugs have been avidly sought by collectors of folk art, artists and connoisseurs excited by their vibrant patterns, color and originality. Born during the first half of the 19th century, the craft of rug hooking spread rapidly throughout the nation from its probable origins in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. The functional rug, made from scraps of fabric and yarn, became a unique expression of its maker as well as a decorative embellishment for the home.

Approximately 40 splendid examples of hooked rugs that include Waldoboro, Arts and Crafts, cottage industry and other types emerge from the past will be featured on display in “Rug Hooking in Maine and Beyond.” The exhibition has been made possible through a grant from the Maine Humanities Council and individual donors. The primary media sponsor is Maine Home + Design.

In association with this exhibition, there will be gallery talks by Péladeau Wednesdays, June 9 and July 28, at 1 p.m. A lecture by Paula Laverty on the Grenfell Mission rugs will take place in the museum auditorium Wednesday, July 21 at 5:30 p.m.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.