embroidery

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Nightcap, 17th century, England, linen embroidered with silk, linen needle lace, Bequest of Marian Hague, 1971-50-115
Simple Yet Effective
The decoration on this cap, found only on the lower edge and the single seam, accents its simple design. Wigs were commonly worn in public in the seventeenth century, and many men had shaved heads. When the wig was removed, nightcaps were worn to protect the head from drafty interiors, even during the day. They...
Sampler, 1812, Maytown, Pennsylvania, USA, silk and metallic thread embroidered in satin, cross, running, stem, and rococo stitches with figure eight looping on linen plain weave foundation, Bequest of Emily Coe Stowell from the Coe Collection, 1970-28-17.
Fashionable Sampler
This sampler was worked in 1812 by Mary Hamilton at the Maytown, Pennsylvania, school of Catherine Welshans (who became Catherine Welshans Buchanan after her 1813 marriage). The central scene depicts a woman, fashionably attired in a feathered headdress, standing beneath a tree. The border is made up of compartmentalized motifs, including baskets of flowers, flowering...
Design by Hand | Lesage’s Hubert Barrère
Lecture by Hubert Barrère, Art Director of Maison Lesage, the venerable French embroidery company. Discussion follows with Matilda McQuaid, Deputy Curatorial Director and Head of Textiles. For nearly a century, Maison Lesage has created extraordinary embroidered designs for Elsa Schiaparelli, Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, and many other revered designers. In 2002, Chanel acquired Maison Lesage...
Sampler, Wethersfield, CT, USA, 1818, embroidered by Sophia Stevens Smith, (American, 1804–1881), silk embroidered in cross, satin, stem, surface satin, chain and knot stitches on plain weave foundation with painted details, Bequest of Rosalie Coe, from the collection inherited from her mother, Eva Johnston Coe, 1974-42-17.
Connecticut Sampler
Sophia Smith’s sampler is part of a distinctive group of Wethersfield, Connecticut, samplers made at two different schools during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. Earlier examples were probably worked at the Abigail Goodrich School, which operated from around 1804 to 1815. Sophia’s is one of a later group of samplers, most likely made...
Sampler, Boston, Massachusetts, 1772, embroidered by Abigail Mears (American, American, b. 1758), satin, stem and eyelet stitches on plain weave linen, Bequest of Rosalie Coe, from the collection inherited from her mother, Eva Johnston Coe, 1974-42-13.
A Boston Sampler
This sampler, worked by Abigail Mears in 1772, is related to a group of embroideries known as the “fishing lady pictures.” The name originally referred to Boston needlework featuring the same fishing lady, but now encompasses a variety of related pastoral compositions, with or without the fishing lady. From the 1760s, the same types of...
Sampler, Baltimore, Maryland, 1823, embroidered silk in cross stitch on linen plain weave foundation, Bequest of Gertrude M. Oppenheimer, 1981-28-78.
A Baltimore Sampler
French-speaking Catholics, fleeing the bloody revolutions in France and the Caribbean, settled in large numbers in the Baltimore area. In 1791, priests from the Parisian Society of Saint Suplice established a seminary in west Baltimore conducting religious services in French, and it soon became the center of a rapidly-growing French community. Among the émigrés, both...
Sampler, Germany, 2015, designed by Heidrun Schimmel (German, b. 1941), Medium: silk foundation, cotton and polyester embroidery
Technique: embroidered on plain weave, Gift of Heidrun Schimmel, 2015-14-1
Thread Tracks Time
Heidrun Schimmel says that she has always been interested in the connection between fiber/fabric/textile and the human being, especially between the thread and the human. Perhaps a metaphor for human existence, stitching with thread tracks time, especially when employing the same type of stitch on the same type of cloth as Schimmel has been doing...
toran
A traditional toran
The toran is a frieze hanging named after a sacred gateway in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist architecture. In the Gujarati communities of western India, a toran is hung above the doorway to the main room of the house as a sign of welcoming. This particular toran appears to be in the Kathipa style, recognizable by...
Cushion cover, ca. 1900, England, embroidered by May Morris (British, 1862–1938), silk embroidery on linen plain weave, Gift of Mrs. Curtice Hitchcock, 1975-19-1
The Titan’s Daughter
May Morris will forever be in the shadow of her famous father William Morris, the chief protagonist of the English Arts and Crafts movement, and of her mother, the Pre-Raphaelite beauty Jane Burden. Yet she was an accomplished artist in her own right, a fact evidenced by the skillful design and craftsmanship of this cushion...