March 2014 newsletter by Margriet Hogue, owner of The Essamplaire. Listed are ongoing and future sampler related events, including the March 7 - April 20, 2014 exhibition Delaware samplers at the Biggs Musem of Art in Dover, DE; the May 16 & 17 Penn dry Goods Market show and sale at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA; and the August - October, 2014 "Eye of the Needle" exhibition of 17th century English Embroideries at the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. In addition, Margriet asks our assistance in locating samplers stitched by girls at the Diaconie Orphanage in Amsterdam. To date, she has been able to locate more than 100 samplers from the orphanage, with the earliest dated 1753. However, she is sure there are many more as the school was in existence for more than 300 years. Margriet is actively researching the girls of known samplers from the orphanage. Photographs included.
Announcement about the Sampler Exhibition at the The Royal School of Needlework, Hampton Court, London, January to July 2014. On display are 120 samplers from the Royal School of Needlework collection, dating from 1731 to 2013. The samplers represent a broad range of sampler types and needlework techniques. Curated by Dr. Susan Kay-Williams, the exhibition includes alphabet samplers, map samplers, darning samplers, motif samplers, and sampler rolls demonstrating a girl's skill at both embroidery and plain sewing. The oldest sampler on display is from the Grove Book, a unique collection of 20 samplers from England, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and Germany.
Article in the Dover Post about the sampler exhibition at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, Delaware (March 7, 2014 - April 20, 2014). On display are 60 samplers stitched by girls from all three Delaware counties from 1755-1845. Entitled 'Wrought with Careful Hand': Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers, the exhibition focuses on samplers that contain information about a girl's family and genealogical heritage. Ryan Grover, Curator at the Biggs, discusses the factors that influence a sampler's survival, including just plain luck. The samplers are divided into six groups - each with a thematic focus, including the introduction of some previously unknown needlework teachers. An exhibition catalog providing in-depth treatments of the girls whose samplers are on display will be available in May.
Article in the Delaware States News (March 13, 2014) by Jen Rini about the new exhibition of Delaware samplers at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE (March 7 - April 20, 2014). An opening image displays multiple 1801-1805 Quaker samplers stitched by girls attending the Southern Boarding School in what is now Smyrna, DE. Also featured is an 1804 sampler stitched by 10-year-old Ruth Passmore in Wilmington, DE under the instruction of Susannah Pusey Harvey from Chester County, PA. Curator Ryan Grover was interviewed about the exhibition and shared some of his thoughts about the girls who made the samplers and the role of sampler making in early Delaware families.The exhibition's title is "Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Sampler" and targets Delaware schoolgirl embroideries of the 18th and 19th centuries that honor families by including names and initials of family members. Accompanying the exhibition is a three-day symposium March 21-23, 2014, with a free day of lectures on Saturday the 22 and classes and field trips on Friday the 21st and Sunday the 23rd. Advanced registration is required for all events. The Saturday symposium lectures are full, but some of the classes and field trips are still taking registrations. Of particular note is that the three field trips, formerly limited to 10 people each, are now taking up to 20 people and there are spaces open on all of them. More information about the exhibition and symposium (including online registration for classes and field trips) is at the Biggs Museum website: http://biggsmuseum.org .
Article in the Maine Antique Digest (January 19, 2014) by Lois Peltz about nine samplers stitched by Jewish girls. Of particular interest are Jewish samplers that include the Hebrew alphabet and/or Jewish symbols. Discussed and illustrated in the article are Jewish samplers from the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC; the Jewish Museum in New York City; National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia; and the Collection of Lois Peltz. The author shares the results of genealogical research on each sampler and places each sampler in historical context.
Article in the Spring 2014 issue of Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly by Kathleen Staples entitled "Exotic Design in an American Sampler: An Embroidered Gem From Interwoven Globe", pages 25-28. Article reviews the Fall 2013 exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art entitled "Interwoven Globe: The Worldwide Textile Trade, 1500-1800" which was on view September 15, 2013 - January 5, 2014. Included in the more than 130 objects from four continents was a single needlework sampler, stitched in 1800 by 13-year-old Laura Hyde from Franklin, Connecticut. Her sampler is one of three known samplers stitched in Connecticut that feature exotic scenes of Far East locations associated with the textile trade. Labeled on Laura's sampler is a scene representing "India within the Ganges" and another representing the "Bay of Bengal." Most unusual is a scene representing a Turkish harem. The choice of vignettes reflects the new republic's growing awareness of the global textile trade and intellectual curiosity about exotic people and places associated with that trade.
Article in the Delaware News Journal on February 25, 2014 by Ken Mammarella about the Sampler Archive Project and its collaboration with museums and historical societies in Delaware. Beginning with three Sampler Identification and Documentation Days in the summer of 2013, the project has been working to locate, document, and photograph all known American samplers in public and private collections in the state. This led to an upcoming exhibition of 60 Delaware samplers and symposium at the Biggs Museum of American Art entitled "Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers". Exhibition opens March 7, 2014 and goes to April 20. The symposium is March 21-23, registration is required and is online at http://biggsmuseum.org. Included with the article are images of six samplers from the exhibition. Also described Winterthur's upcoming embroidery exhibit, opening Aug. 23 called "The Diligent Needle: Instrument of Profit, Pleasure and Ornament" and its accompanying conference Oct. 24-25, 2014.
M. Finkel & Daughter, premier sampler dealer in Philadelphia, is having an open house and reception on Sunday March 23, 2014, 1-4 pm. A variety of wonderful samplers will be on display, along with complimentary light refreshments. The reception is being held in conjunction with the Delaware Sampler Symposium and Exhibition in Dover entitled "Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers". Symposium attendees without transportation can register to attend the reception in Philadelphia with a group leaving from the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE at 12:15 pm. The tour includes transportation directly to the reception in Philadelphia, refreshments, and optional drop off at Philadelphia's International Airport by 4:30 pm for those who have evening flights. Registration is online at the Biggs Museum of American Art: http://biggsmuseum.org. What a fabulous way to end a weekend devoted to historic American samplers!
Announcing the second Penn Dry Goods Market textiles show, sale, and lectures at the Schwenkfelder Library & Heritage Center in Pennsburg, PA on May 15-17, 2014. Multiple Sampler Consortium members will be presenting on sampler related topics. On May 16, Lynn Tinley will present on "Quakerism in the Elizabeth Marsh School Samplers 1725-1740" and Kathleen Staples will present on "Needlework in Renaissance Paintings." On May 17 Kathleen Staples will conduct two lectures, one on " German Influences in Mexican Samplers" and the second on "Needlework Instruction Books from the Female Model School, Dublin, Ireland". Other presenters include Linda Eaton, Christopher Sullivan, Nancy Roan, Thomas Schantz, and Jan Whitlock. On May 15, Margriet Hogue will teach the Abigail Mears' 1772 sampler. Registration is required for all lectures and classes. Of the many dealers with "dry goods" on display will be some known to have excellent selections of samplers: Van Tassel Bauman Antiques, Neverbird Antiques, and Kathleen Staples & Associates, Rose Gallo.
Article in the Herald Star (Jan. 13, 2014) by Summer Wallace-Minger about a presentation in Bergettstown, PA (near Pittsburg) at the Fort Vance Historical Society. Presenter will be Bonnie Reese, Curator of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Museum of Rural History and textile expert. Included in her April 12, 2014 presentation will be a discussion of the "McNary sampler", a recent acquisition of the Fort Vance Historical Society. "The sampler was created to memorialize James and Jane R. McNary's three children, a daughter who died in early childhood and two infant sons, and includes the childrens' obituaries and three locks of hair. Two of the children died within days of one another of scarlet fever and the third died at 2 days old of an unspecified cause. The family lived in Smith Township." The sampler was recently donated to the society by the Forrest Kuhn family of Louisville, Kentucky and will be on display during the presentation.
Registration for the Delaware Sampler Symposium, March 21-23, 2014 is still open. The Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE is hosting an exhibition and three day Sampler Symposium entitled 'Wrought with Careful Hand': Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers". More than 60 historic DE samplers will be on display March 7 - April 20, 2014. The Symposium includes a full day of lectures on Saturday March 22, plus two days of optional classes and fields trips on Friday March 21 and Sunday March 23. NOTE: DUE TO SPACE LIMITATIONS REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR ALL EVENTS, INCLUDING THE FREE DAY OF LECTURES ON SATURDAY. If a field trip is full, accommodations will be made for those on the waiting list if enough additional participants sign up. So put your name on the waiting list. Registration for needlework classes closes FEBRUARY 1, 2014 so instructors have time to order materials. Register now!. Teachers for needlework classes include Patty Yergey, Robin Laukhoff, and Theresa Baird. Teachers for genealogical research and conservation classes include Cynthia Steinhoff and Ruth Van Tassel. Field trips are planned for Historic Odessa, the Delaware Historical Society, Winterthur, and M. Finkel and Daughter in Philadelphia.
Article in The Daily Press (Jan 11, 2014) about an exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg's DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum entitled "Threads of Feeling: The London Foundling Hospital's Textile Tokens, 1740-1770". On loan from the Foundling Hospital Museum in London is a selection of the more than 5000 fabric tokens women left with their babies when surrendering them to the orphanage due to their impoverished circumstances. The stories are poignant, as are the pieces of fabric left so the mothers could claim their babies if circumstances improved. Many are embroidered and some are small samplers, or parts of a sampler. The exhibition is the only American venue and will be on display until May 26, 2014. More information, go to the Colonial Williamsburg website posting for the exhibition, which includes a podcast interview with the London curator John Styles and dates for "Behind the Scenes" tours of related items from the Colonial Williamsburg collections.To see a slide show of the actual fabric tokens (including one group of embroidered tokens including samplers) go to the online exhibition: http://threadsoffeeling.com. Available for purchase is a book to accompany the exhibition written by John Styles.
Online article about a sampler exhibition entitled "Needlework Samplers, Wrought by Tradition" at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth, MA from February 1 to April 25, 2014. Curated by Stephen O'Neill, about 60 samplers dating from 1653-1832, will be on display. Ten are from the Pilgrim Hall collection, and the remainder from local historical societies, museums and private collections. Centerpiece of the exhibition will be the sampler wrought in 1653 by Loara Standish, daughter of Myles Standish. Also notable are several examples of the local "Plymouth School", recognizable by their distinctive octagonal borders, sawtooth patterning, and floral elements. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on the evening January 8, 5-7 pm.
Announcement by the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE that registration is now open for the March 21-23, 2014 Sampler Symposium entitled 'Wrought with Careful Hand': Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers. This three day event accompanies a six week exhibition of DE samplers (March 7 - April 20, 2014) that celebrate family connections. The main event of the DE Sampler Symposium is Saturday March 22 - a full day of free lectures and multimedia presentations about DE sampler making traditions, teachers, schools, and research. Speakers include Gloria Seaman Allen, Linda Eaton,J. Ritchie Garrison, Lynne Anderson, Ryan Grover, and other invited scholars from the Sampler Consortium. On Friday March 21 and Sunday March 23, attendees have a variety of options to choose from - needlework classes, research and conservation classes, as well as field trips to see samplers and other needlework in DE collections. Needlework classes will be taught by Patty Yergey, Robin Laukhuf, and Theresa Baird. Ruth Van Tassel will teach a class on sampler conservation and Cindy Steinhoff will teach a class on genealogical research aimed at finding and documenting sampler making girls. Field trips will enable visits to Historic Odessa, the Delaware Historical Society, Winterthur Museum, and M Finkel & Daughter. Classes and field trips are all fee-based to cover expenses. Due to space limitations, advanced registration is required for all events, including Saturday's day of lectures and multimedia presentations open to the public at no cost. For attendees coming from out of town there is a list of hotels in varying price ranges.
Announcement by the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE that it will be hosting an exhibition of Delaware schoolgirl samplers March 7 - April 20, 2014. Sponsored in part by the Coby Foundation, the Delaware Humanities Forum, and the Sampler Consortium, the exhibition will showcase approximately 60 historic Delaware samplers. The theme of the exhibition is ties of kinship, illustrated by samplers from the many Delaware schools in which girls recorded and honored family members by including names or initials of parents, grandparents, and siblings. An exhibition catalog will be on sale at the exhibition, providing details about the sampler makers, their families, and the historical and educational contexts in which the samplers were made. Extensive research has uncovered new early schools for girls living in Delaware and previously unknown needlework teachers. A three day sampler symposium of the same name will be held at the Biggs Museum March 21-23, 2014. In addition to a full day of speakers on March 22, there will be needlework classes, classes on conservation and genealogical research, and field trips to see samplers in area collections on March 21 and 23. There is a link to more information, including a complete agenda of speakers, on the Sampler Archive Project website. Advanced online registration for the sampler symposium will begin January 1, 2014 at the Biggs Museum website. Registration is required due to space limitations.
New book by Vickie LoPiccolo Jennett entitled "Sonoran Borders: Threads of Friendship". Inspired by historic needlework samplers, the book follows the fictional journey of two young girls, Feliciana and Emily, whose paths cross in the Sonoran Desert in the late 19th century. Though their time together is brief, their friendship spans a lifetime through correspondence and a shared love of needlework. Their story unfolds when a granddaugher discovers a chest full of handmade objects and letters. In a unique literary genre, the attic treasures come to life in 11 needlework projects. The book is well researched and beautifully illustrated. To take peak inside the book, click on the preview pages. Cost of the book is $27.95.
Announcing the January 25, 2013 auction of American folk art from the well-known Ralph O. Esmerian collection, to be held at Sotheby's in New York. "The sale includes over 200 superb works from a broad range of American folk art categories including paintings, watercolors, pottery, needlework, carvings and weathervanes, from the early 18th century to 20th century, from New England to Pennsylvania, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and beyond." Included are four important samplers: (a) a 1744 Boston Adam & Eve sampler by Lydia Hart; (b) a 1784 Newport RI sampler by Elizabeth Sheffield; (c) an 1801 Newburyport, MA sampler by Mary Coffin; and (d) an 1847 Peters Township, PA sampler by Leah Young. Addition textiles include (a) a 1776 pocketbook, (b) a c. 1740-1770 crewel embroidered pocket, (c) a c. 1825 reticule from Brattleboro, VT, and (d) a. c. 1720-1750 pocketbook with a basket of flowers embroidered in silk and metallic threads, possibly from Chester County. A catalog is in preparation and will be available in print and online in the near future. The collection will be on exhibition at Sotheby's from January 18 through January 24, 2014.
Online announcement for the 2014 annual textile seminar, to be hosted by the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) in Charleston, SC, January 12 - 14. Sampler Consortium members presenting at the seminar include (a) Kathy Staples (on clothing for the enslaved during the colonial period, and also on silk embroideries of Charleston and the surrounding lowcountry) and (b) Lynn Tinley (on South Carolina lowcountry samplers and their counterparts in Boston and Philadelphia). The two day seminar will include a tour of Middleton Place (a 1755 historic home and gardens) by Mary Edna Sullivan; as well as textile collection and gallery studies at the Charleston Museum by Jan Hiester. Registration is $350 and includes all sessions, admissions and site visits, as well as a Sunday reception, Monday and Tuesday lunches, Tuesday dinner, and Monday transportation.
Online exhibition (2013) about historic school samplers in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. Curated by Leena A. Rana, for the Connecting to Collections initiative, the exhibition includes introductory essays reviewing the history of samplers, describing English charity schools for the poor, and discussing needlework techniques and curricula at English schools. The highlight of the exhibition, however, are the eight school samplers , all stitched by young girls attending one of Britain's many charity schools or orphanages. In addition to photographs of front and back, and transcriptions of the text, Ms. Rana has done a prodigious amount of research so that she could tell each girl's story, as well as that of the story of the school she attended and any teachers she was able to identify. Where possible, the exhibition is accompanied by additional photographs illustrating the girls' school records and/or related samplers. Samplers in the online exhibition include a 1723 band sampler stitched by Mary Derow at St Clement Danes School (Drury Lane, Convent Garden); a 1785 darning sampler stitched by Jane Brady at Ackworth School; a c. 1830-1835 extract sampler on the topic of Charity stitched by Ann Bowler Calton at the Royal Freemason's School; and an 1868 sampler stitched by Mary Ann Tipper at the Bristol Orphan House.
Featured article at the Samplings website by genealogist and author Maureen Wlodarczyk on the stories behind three Irish schoolgirl samplers from her personal collection of antiques. With the goal of discovering and sharing the genealogical histories of the young sampler makers, the author has placed each girl and her sampler within historical and political context. Originally a three part series for "Irish Lives Remembered" (April, May & June 2013), a genealogical e-magazine, the Samplings article pulls together the stories of all three girls and the samplers they stitched at schools in three different parts of Ireland. Part 1 focuses on Jane Gage whose small 1818 sampler was stitched in Coleraine, a small town and barony in Londonderry Ireland. Part 2 tells the story of Eliza Woods who stitched her 1849 sampler at the age of 12 at Pettigo School in County Donegal. And Part 3 showcases a 1792 sampler stitched by Anne Walpole at Clonmel School in County Tipperary. The article is richly illustrated with photographs of the samplers, as well as images of homes and towns relevant to the three stories.