Author: Kimberly Randall

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Image features a woven textile that serves as a commemorative of the US centennial while promoting the textile manufacturer Pacific Mills of Lawrence, Massachusetts. Woven in black and cream, the composition has a bold graphic quality and depicts a broadly soaring eagle over a large modern factory enclosed in curvilinear frame. In between each factory is a plaque identifying the Treasurer, Agent and Selling Agent of the business. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Centennial Showpiece
This woven textile by Pacific Mills serves as a commemorative of the 1876 US Centennial while also promoting the textile manufacturer from Lawrence, Massachusetts – one of the largest textile producers in the Western Hemisphere during the nineteenth century. Woven in black and cream, the unusual composition has a bold graphic quality and depicts a...
Image features a bookmark or stevengraph with a portrait medallion of Abraham Lincoln surmounted by an eagle perched on a shield flag that holds a banner in its beak that reads "E Pluribus Unum." Inscription at top reads: "Assassinated at Washington 14 April 1865," and just below another inscription: "I have said nothing but what I am willing to live by. And if it be the pleasure of Almighty God. To die by. (A Lincoln). Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Lincoln Bookmark
This post was originally published on July 26, 2018. Stevengraphs are small woven pictures that depict famous buildings, historical events, iconic scenes, and prominent public figures such as members of royal families, politicians and athletes. They were produced by Thomas Stevens (English, 1828–1888), a Coventry weaver who customized the jacquard loom to produce small detailed...
Image features a white curtain panel printed in blue with chinoiserie design. Two Asian-inspired figures climbing a fantasy stairway in mid-air, a figure pointing to the top of a hill where a pagoda-like structure sits. Oversized flowers, foliage, and rococo scrolls accent the landscape. Narrow rectangular panel with six tabs along top edge for hanging. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Inspired by Pillement
This textile’s whimsical chinoiserie scene was inspired by the work of French artist Jean-Baptiste Pillement (1728 – 1808), and printed by Bromley Hall, a prominent textile printing manufactory in Middlesex, England. Pillement’s illustrations inspired many late-eighteenth-century textile designs. Although this design features many of the artist’s signature motifs – oversized flowers, a winding staircase and...
Image features: a U-shaped drawstring purse in green, with a stylized design of fuchsias in two greens, violet, two pinks, yellow and white. Long green cord with tassel. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Sophisticated Sample
Author: Rachel Pool This green purse is made from silk embroidery, plant fibers, and glass beads. A single tassel dangles from one side of the purse. Made between 1910 and 1912, the purse exhibits the Art Nouveau design style, indicated by the embroidered motif that displays organic patterns taken from nature, shown in the form...
Image features a map sampler showing the globe in two hemispheres, tracing the flights of Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh in 1931, 1933, and 1937. There are scenes in each corner labeled S. America, Africa, China, and India. At the bottom center, there is a plane labeled the Sirius-Tingmissartoq. The map is surrounded by a scrolling floral border. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object..
Flight Adventures Stitched in Time
Author: Madelyn Shaw This silk embroidery, titled “Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh’s Flights – 1931 – 1933 – 1937,” is an extraordinary take on the tradition of the map sampler. Embroidered lines in blue, gray, and red trace the routes that Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh took on a few of their 1930s flights: in 1931,...
Image features embroidered picture showing five women representing "The Five Senses" with their attributes. Hearing, playing a lute, is in the center, Smell is upper right, Touch is lower right, Taste is upper left, and Sight is lower left. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
Raising the Bar for Intricate Needlework
Author: Katherine Diuguid The wealth of needlework techniques on display in 17th century English raised-work embroideries is a reminder that these pictures functioned as samplers, in which amateur embroiderers would test out different techniques as they progressed in their needlework skills. Whether depicting Biblical or mythological characters, female figures rendered in contemporary dress often enjoyed...
Waist Not, Want Not
Author: Virginia Pollock While this textile might seem unrecognizable to modern eyes, to consumers in eighteenth-century France this textile was an object of fashionable and economic significance. These uncut waistcoat fronts display the layout of a pattern, adorned with copperplate printed motifs of vegetal imagery, intertwined dolphins, and a wooded scene at the bottom with...
From Painting to Print
Author: Virginia Pollock The founding of Pennsylvania and the formation of William Penn’s “greene country towne” of Philadelphia is immortalized in this textile, intended for use as a furnishing fabric. Whereas today Penn’s dealings might be seen as part of a larger narrative of harmful and exploitative colonization, the printed images seek to convey Penn...
Image features a quilt, the off-white surface with an octagon and diamond grid. Each diamond contains a four-legged animal: one with large antlers, another with a bird perched on its back. Each octagon has an eight-pointed star containing fantastic animals of various types with wings, antlers, tails; some are four-legged and others are bird-like. Please scroll down to read the blog post about this object.
A Quilted Menagerie
Author: Kathryn Berenson Playful birds and beasts parade from left to right across this quilted and corded decorative textile (inv. 1976-68, dimensions 78.5 x 33.5 inches). Each crowned eagle, proud peacock and rooster, amiable lion, flying dragon, and four-legged beast with antlers but no head, appears within an 8-point star set inside a 6-inch-wide octagon....