Barnett Hook Papers and Needlework – OHIO University Libraries

Barnett A. Hook was born in Vinton County, Ohio in 1845. Over the course of his life, Hook successfully took up a wide variety of trades, including farming, teaching, newspaper publishing, nursing, catering, horse breeding and training, and, finally, needlework. After an illness caused him to lose strength in his hands, Hook could no longer work with horses. He picked up needlework on a whim, a highly unusual hobby for a man in those days, and discovered a hidden talent. Hook’s detailed and colorful embroidery was his greatest claim to fame in life, and is his most lasting legacy. Hook frequently exhibited his work and taught embroidery classes, traveling all over Ohio and beyond, to places like Florence, Alabama; Valdosta, Georgia; and Lake City, Florida. The Mahn Center’s Barnett Hook papers and needlework collection contains materials from throughout his life, including papers, photographs, postcards, and several examples of his needlework. You can also view a selection of these materials online in the Libraries’ Digital Collections. Check out the gallery below for a few of our favorite items!