Woodrow Wilson's Liberty Rug Restored
October 22, 2009
Restoration by Costikyan has completed the restoration of The Liberty Rug. The historically significant carpet was inspired by the initial floodlighting ceremony at the Statue of Liberty on Dec. 2, 1916, at which President Woodrow Wilson officiated.
Restoration by Costikyan has completed the restoration of The Liberty Rug. The historically significant carpet was inspired by the initial floodlighting ceremony at the Statue of Liberty on Dec. 2, 1916, at which President Woodrow Wilson officiated. The Liberty Rug was the first of twenty that were made and was presented to President Woodrow Wilson by W & J Sloane, the sole agents for the design.
The carpet was woven in Amsterdam, NY by the Shuttleworth Brothers factory. The National Trust for Historic Preservation commissioned Restoration by Costikyan to restore the famous carpet to its former magnificence. It has now been returned to its home in Woodrow Wilson House where it is on display in the President’s Library.
An image of The Statue of Liberty occupies the center of the rug. Surrounding her are monuments and symbols of American heritage that include Niagara Falls, the Mayflower, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, the Washington Monument, Capitol, and Native American teepees.
A border surrounds the central images with illustrative medallions including many state seals. Depicted on the carpet are scenes of America circa 1916. Aviatrix Ruth Law flies over the Statue of Liberty in a biplane during the statue’s floodlighting ceremony. Also represented on the carpet is a ship passing through the Panama Canal, opened during the Wilson administration and a Model T Ford driving through a California Redwood tree.
The rug originally occupied President Wilson’s bedroom at The White House prior to its installation at S Street in Wilson’s Library. The President’s close friend and doctor, Rear Admiral Cary Grayson, who wrote Woodrow Wilson’s biography, recounts a story illustrating the President’s sense of humor during his illness.
“Once after he had been able to leave his bed and walk with the assistance of his cane, he was crossing a rug with a number of figures woven into it, the Washington Monument, the Capitol and Niagara Falls. As the President crossed the rug, he turned to me and said: Doctor, that is not a bad stunt for a lame fellow, to walk over Niagara Falls this morning.”
Restoration by Costikyan has restored many other carpets of historical importance including the Laver Kirman Carpet at Hearst Castle in California and the seventeenth century Portuguese needlepoint in The Banquet Hall at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Florida.