Alumna Cynthia Fowler (Ph.D. 2002), now Associate Professor of Art and Art Department Chair at Emmanuel College in Boston, has just published Hooked Rugs: Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design (Ashgate, 2013), in the series "The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950."
Cynthia relates that "the book was a labor of love and I credit the foundational work I did at Delaware on its completion. I am sorry that Bill Homer is not around for me to share this news with him. He was my advisor and supported my applications for grants in my early post-graduate years. So I am grateful to him as well and acknowledged such in my book. My interest in modernist hooked rugs developed when I was a graduate student at the University of Delaware and working on my dissertation. While researching the creative output of American modernist Marguerite Zorach, I discovered that Zorach had created hooked rugs during her lifetime. I then became aware of a group of modernist artists who were also interested in hooked rug production, some choosing to design and fabricate their own rugs, while others relied on craftspeople to manufacture their designs. I was intrigued by my discovery that the interest in modern hooked rugs extended far beyond the confines of the urban art world to form an intricate network between urban artists and rural communities involved in producing hooked rugs for an ever expanding market. My early research has culminated in this book on the modernist hooked rug. Dr. William Innes Homer, my dissertation advisor at the University of Delaware, sparked my interest in Marguerite Zorach and American modernism. I will always be grateful to him for his support of my research while I attended the University of Delaware and as I established my career as an art historian. His recent death is a great loss to American art historians like myself who worked with him and were influenced by his scholarship."