Helen Prouty Tracy

"Vermont Union" rug

Time Period

1940 to Today

Subject Categories

Arts

Notable Facts

Designed and completed "probably the finest scenic rug ever hooked"- the "Vermont Union" rug.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

1908

Date of Death

1999

Primary Residence

Barre

Historical Significance

Helen Tracy is known for her contributions to the art of "scenic rug hooking". Over a period of 40 years, she made a wool-on-burlap hooked rug entitled, "Vermont Union". The design represented Vermont's entry as the fourteenth state in the Union. Her rug was adapted from a 19th century pattern of Edward Frost's.

Helen Tracy began work on the rug in 1941, the year when Vermont celebrated the 150th anniversary of its statehood. The design included Camel's Hump, Mount Mansfield, and symbols of life in Vermont.

Tracy started the rug when she was studying with Charlotte Stratton of Montpelier, a premier teacher and revivor of rug hooking in the United States after World War II. Tracy put aside the project when Stratton left Vermont in the late 1940's, but picked it up again under the guidance of Ann Ashworth, another well-known teacher.

Helen Tracy completed the masterpiece in 1981. In Charlotte Stratton's book, "Rug Hooking Made Easy", she refers to Tracy's "Vermont Union" as, "probably the finest scenic rug ever hooked". The rug was part of the Vermont Historical Society's "All the Precious Past" exhibit from 1994-1999.

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild Link

  • Green Mountain Hooked Rugs Link

  • The Association of Traditional Hooking Artists Link