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The Green Tree: Highlights from the Collection of the Mutual Assurance Company of Philadelphia - April 2007
 
 
painting
 
James and Mercedes Hutchinson
(American, c. 1925-1945)
“Fireman, the Flames Grow Warm,” Hooked Rug, c. 1910
Cotton, 50 × 32 1/2 inches
Inscribed: “FIREMAN!/THE FLAMES GROW WARM/YOUR GLANCES LIKEWISE/SEAR/I PRAY YOU DO NOT/MEAN ME HARM/I CANNOT LINGER/HERE”
RS 6235


James and Mercedes Hutchinson lived in Brooklyn, New York, and collected hooked rugs. During the late 1920s James Hutchinson began to write poems and epigrams for which his wife provided illustrations that they drew on burlap foundations. The couple commissioned others to make the rugs, and over a period of about twenty years they are believed to have produced hundreds of them, all with different designs. Firemen were among their favorite subjects and this example, with its double-edged risqué verse, is typical.

This rug is discussed and illustrated in Joel and Kate Kopp, American Hooked and Sewn Rugs: Folk Art Underfoot (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1992), pp. 110-111.

[Note: this entry differs from the print version of the catalog. It has been updated to reflect new information acquired after publication.]



  


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