Elizabeth Mattison

Women, Charity, and Craft in America


This buttercup-yellow plate was made by Fanny Levine, a member of the Saturday Evening Girls Club. Founded in 1899 by Edith Guerrier, a librarian, and Edith Brown, an illustrator, the Saturday Evening Girls Club was a charitable organization dedicated to the education of poor immigrant women, particularly Jewish and Italian, living in the North End of Boston. As it was originally associated with the Boston Public Library, the club initially served to teach its members about art, literature, and etiquette.
Fanny Levine, Boston, Saturday Evening Girls Club, ceramics, craft, philanthropy

The Wild Man from Wells Cathedral


Framed by swirling green leaves, the face of a man with protruding brows and a scraggly beard graces this misericord. Sometimes called a ‘mercy seat,’ the misericord was the small ledge that protruded from the undersides of folding seats in a choir stall in a medieval church or cathedral. Medieval liturgical services were conducted eight times a day, and the clergy who attended and performed the services had to stand during the entire ritual. Developed in the 13th century, the misericord allowed the clergy to rest while appearing to stand during services.
Misericord, england, 14th century, oak, carving, seat, Church, Wells Cathedral, Wild Man