Josie Mast; "American Beauty;" coverlet; overshot; c. 1913; North Carolina

Josie Mast (1861-1936) wove this “American Beauty,” overshot coverlet in Valle Crucis, Watauga County, North Carolina. The overshot structure is made of an indigo-dyed wool supplementary pattern weft which floats at controlled intervals across a plain weave ground cloth of unbleached cotton warp and weft. The coverlet also features a with a cotton warp fringe with leno or gauze weave detailing. Josie was the wife of Finley Mast, proprietor of Mast General Store. A well-known weaver of the North Carolina highlands, Josie was one of four teachers who taught weaving at the newly established industrial school in Valle Crucis, NC. Using weaving techniques and patterns typical of the late-eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Josie carded, spun, and wove rugs, coverlets, and many household items on a family loom over 100 years old when she used it. In an effort to raise awareness of the plight of Appalachian children and the need for education, Wilson's first wife, Ellen, ordered rugs and coverlets from Josie Mast to furnish what became known as the Blue Mountain Room. This coverlet was purchased by the museum from the showroom of the Southern Education Association, headquartered in Washington, D.C. From 1913-1926, the association hosted a craft exchange with the proceeds from sales going back to Appalachia to fund future work by the various artists. This coverlet is part of a very important accession linked to the SEA, Appalachian settlement schools, and craft revival in the Southern Appalachians.
Currently not on view
date made
Mast, Josie
place woven
United States: North Carolina
place made
United States: North Carolina, Valle Crucis
Physical Description
overshot (overall production method/technique)
wool, cotton (overall material)
blue, white (overall color)
American Beauty (overall pattern)
overall: 72 in x 84 in; 182.88 cm x 213.36 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Southern Industrial Educational Association
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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