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TitleAnnie OakleyDesigned byPhoto Adaptation by Donna HrkmanHooked byKathy WrightDimensions15.5" x 24"Materialswool on linenCuts2, 3, 4, 6Start to FinishStarted & worked on in Jan. & Feb. of 2021 & 2022.Your TeacherDonna HrkmanShare

Annie Oakley

Annie Oakley was not a proponent of women’s suffrage. “She was concerned that not enough ‘good’ women would vote.” However, she created a whole new image for women—women working outside the home, unheard of at that time. She campaigned for equal pay for women. She taught women how to shoot for food and protection. She had a partnership marriage with husband, Frank Butler, who gave up his career to be her manager.

A sharpshooter, with the ability to remain a lady, while doing exactly as she pleased is “a subtle rebellion” and further proof of her feminism.

I hooked “Annie Oakley” during the January 2020 and 2021 workshops under the guidance of fiber artist Donna Hrkman. I very much appreciated Donna’s guidance with this project and her patience with my struggles. “Annie” was a challenging project for me. In saying that, I’m so glad that I took on this challenge, especially with Donna. The piece is hooked with Donna’s hand-dyed wool in many values, using cut sizes #2 through #4.

Annie Oakley was the stage name of Phoebe Ann Mosey who was born on August 13, 1860, in a log cabin five miles east of North Star, Ohio.  Her health declined in 1925 and she died of pernicious anemia in Greenville, Ohio, at age 66, on November 3, 1926. Her ashes are buried at Brock Cemetery, near Greenville.

I chose to hook Annie Oakley for the Women’s Vote Centennial. She was successful because she was conservative and had traditional views. She wore conservative, Victorian style dresses and was respectful. This all allowed her to be taken seriously. She was able to push boundaries because people were able to focus on her talents and skills, instead of her sex. She does not fit our modern definition of a beacon of feminism, but she is an example of how impeccable talent and respect can lead to more opportunities for women and can break boundaries for other women in the future.

Who among her female peers in 1875, could say that they paid off the mortgage and broke into a male-dominated field at the age of 15?  She is someone that can be looked at to this day as a role model of hard work, determination and freedom of expression. She laid a foundation for Women and the Right to Vote! 

My “Annie Oakley” hooked rug was exhibited in 2021 at the Women’s Vote Centennial Exhibit at Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village in Archbold, Ohio. This exhibit then traveled to Seneca Falls, New York, and the National Women’s Hall of Fame where it was displayed during the induction of the 30th class of American women of achievement in September 2022. The nine women inducted included: American science-fiction writer Octavia Butler, artist Judy Chicago, Brigadier General Rebecca Halstead, soccer star Mia Hamm, poet laureate Joy Harjo, activist Emily Howland, mathematician Katherine Johnson, business executive Indra Nooyi and former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The rug was donated to the Garst Museum in Greenville, Ohio, for Annie’s GALA and Gathering at Garst in July 2023 to raise funds for the museum, where much Annie Oakley memorabilia can be found.

Kathy has a Rug Hooking business.

About the artist

As the director of Rug Hooking Week at Sauder Village and an author/editor/publisher of the Rug Hooking Traditions Book Series, I don’t get to hook as much as I would like to.

My introduction to hooked rugs came in the 1980s from magazines like Early American Life, Country Living & Country Home.

I’ve had the opportunity to take classes from a number of wonderful teachers and learned many new things. Unfortunately, there are long breaks between my hooking projects, but I love my work as director of Rug Hooking Week as well as researching fiber artists and writing about their lives and work.