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.
A blog post (June 13, 2013) by Jennifer Potts, curator at the Delaware Historical Society (DHS) in Wilmington, about the Sampler Archive Project's new documentation initiative in Delaware. Sampler ID Days were held at the Delaware History Museum on June 7 and 8, 2013. On the first day 35 samplers from the DHS collection were photographed and documented. The second day was open to the public and resulted in the documentation of an additional 26 samplers. In this blog post, Jennifer provides information and images for four samplers from the DHS collection, all from Delaware. The oldest is a sampler stitched in 1755 by Mary Tatnall (1736-1809) of Wilmington, and Jennifer included a photo of the sampler being documented by volunteers from the Sampler Consortium. The goal of the Sampler Archive Project is to locate, photograph, and document all known American samplers, and Delaware is the first state for which there has been funding (from the Delaware Humanities Forum) for a statewide effort. Additional documentation days are taking place at the Biggs Museum of American Art (June 14 and 15) in Dover and the Lewes Historical Society (July 18) in Lewes. There will also be a three-day symposium and accompanying exhibition March 21-23, 2014.
The Sampler Archive Project announces the Delaware Sampler Symposium, to be held March 21-23, 2014 at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover, DE. Title of the symposium is 'Wrought with Careful Hand': Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers". On March 22 there will be a full day of lectures focused on Delaware samplers, featuring presentations by nationally known scholars such as Gloria Seaman Allen and Linda Eaton. Also highlighted will be newly emerging research on Delaware schools and teachers, and the various ways in which Delaware samplers record and celebrate family ties. In addition to the day of lectures of Saturday the 22nd, there will be workshops and field trips on Friday March 21 and Sunday March 23. There is a downloadable PDF agenda with information about all of the presentations and speakers. Save the dates!!
Articles and needlework projects in the Fall 2013 issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly. Included are two articles by Sampler Consortium members. Barbara Hutson shares her research into the life of sampler maker Ruth Passmore, from Chester County, PA. She stitched her sampler in 1804 in Wilmington, DE at the Brandywine School under the instruction of Sarah Pusey Harvey. In addition to the article there is a charted reproduction of the sampler. Also in this issue is an article by Sheryl DeJong entitled "Needlework With Family Ties in the Textile Collection at the Smithsonian". Her article describes, and places in historical context, samplers in the collection of the National Museum of American History (part of the Smithsonian) stitched by members of the same family: sisters, mother and daughter, great aunt and great niece. Also described are two embroideries by Rachel Breck, a sampler (c. 1803) and a silk on silk embroidery (1810).
Article in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript (Sept. 25, 2013) about an exhibit entitled, "Textile Art: Needlework & Theorums,", on view at the Horatio Colony House Museum in Keene, NH. The exhibit features the museum's collection of 19th and 20th century textile art of theorums and various types of needlework. This is a visually colorful exhibit of antique lace, theorum paintings, five large pieces of crewelwork, embroidered linen book jackets, and 19th century Oriental silk embroidery - all spanning a time period from 1820 to 1963. The Horatio Colony House Museum is a stately 1806 Federal house that was the home of Horatio Colony II, descendent of one of Keene's prominent industrialist families. The house features original furnishings and decorative arts exactly in place, just as when the family lived here.
Vote now and often! A masterful important needlework in the collection of the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center is listed as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 10 Endangered Artifacts by the Conservation Center for Art & Historic Artifacts (CCAHA). You can help by going to the website and (a) voting, (b) donating, and/or (c) sharing this informatio with others. Each counts as a point and the artifact with the most points by Nov 1, 2013 will win the People's Choice Award. The Schwenkfelder one of a kind Victorian needlework is now in second place. Your votes can push it to first place and ensure that it receives the conservation attention it needs. Be sure to click through the photos to see this amazing piece of needlework up close.
Book review (Sept 4, 2013) by Lindsey Mather in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine of Dan and Marty Campanelli's new book on schoolgirl samplers from Hunterdon County, NJ. The review is richly illustrated with photographs of samplers from the book, which is on sale at the Hunterdon County Historial Society. Mather calls the book a "must read", in part because of the many well researched stories of the sampler making girls, providing historical context to their needlework - sometimes the only evidence the women existed. Approximately a third of the samplers in the book will be on display in the fall of 2014 at an exhibition to be held by the Morven Museum in Princeton entitled "Hail Specimens of Female Arts! New Jersey Needlework, 1726-1860,"