The Lindy Hop was a swing dance phenomenon, but the Finnish Hop?
This lively design was produced by the artists’ collective know as The Folly Cove Designers, for its location near Gloucester on the Massachusetts coast. Many Finnish immigrants had settled there, attracted by skilled work in the granite quarries or the boat building industry. At least half a dozen Finnish immigrants and Finnish-Americans were members of the collective, including Eino Natti and Aino Clarke, who produced large numbers of textile designs.
The group’s founder, Virginia Demetrios, is better known as Virginia Lee Burton, author and illustrator of such beloved children’s books as 1943 Caldecott-award winner The Little House: Her Story and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Demetrios was trained as a dancer and many of her textile designs focus on the body in motion, from dance-themed designs to more unexpected physical endeavors, including boxing (Double Knockout), calisthenics (Reducing), or even the rigors of the linoleum block printing process used to create the original designs (Folly Cove Designer). While the human form is not as prominent in the work of the other Folly Cove designers, vitality and a sense of movement is common to the output of this unique collective.
Finnish Hop. Designed by Virginia Demetrios for The Folly Cove Designers. Produced by F. Schumacher & Co. Screen printed on Aralac. 87 x 37 3/8 in. Museum purchase from General Acquisitions Endowment. 1997-104-1