The idea of translating an artist's work from canvas or paper into a rug for the floor (or wall) has been going on for more than two hundred years. The Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited eleven new rugs designed by ten American artists in 1942. These eleven rugs were designed by abstract artists that included Arshile Gorky and Stuart Davis.
"Art rugs offer the client a sense of buying into the art world" says Lucy Upward, editor of Cover, a London-based magazine focused on contemporary carpets. For example, works by Picasso, Lichtenstein, and Kandinsky have been transformed into carpet designs va posthumous licensing agreements. Rugs designed by the artists themselves, such as Leger, Klee, and Miro earn the highest prices. Frances Bacon and Ben Nicholson created rug designs in the 1920's and 1930's. "Many are limited-edition or one-off-pieces where now collector's items" says Upward.
As Jason Nazmijal has observed, art rugs are distinctive, and create a feast for the eys. Art rugs are modern masterpieces that showcase legendary artistic works. The aesthetic value as well as the collectable nature of limited edition art rugs makes them coveted by art collectors and rug aficionados alike.