Thursday, 10 February 2011

English Samplers in New England.

While on my travels to Boston USA, I got the opportunity to go and spend a few hours at Boston Museum of Fine Art.  I cannot remember the last time I got to spend time on my own in a museum, only looking at the things that I wanted to look at.  I had hoped that I would get to take my friend Katharine with me but unfortunately when we had it planned I went and had a migraine for the day!  The exhibition I definitely enjoyed the most was confined to one room and it was full of embroidered samplers.  Here are just a small selection with a few close ups - it was incredible that as long as you didn't like use a flash you were allowed to take photographs of everything!

 I find the detail absolutely incredible.

 And adored the sentiments in the paragraph - and it has come true.

These samplers were done by young girls coming over from England as the first settlers were arriving.  I had already known that samplers were done as a way of young girls learning how to stitch and for something to do as entertainment options were severely restricted.  What I had never appreciated before was that they were doing them not only to learn stitches but to remember them as well.  Whereas I can look in books for stitches or look on the Internet to get inspiration when wanting to stitch, these girls had only their samplers to review.  It goes without saying then that those that had the biggest variety of stitching on were probably from the most accomplished stitchers.  When it came later in life for them to be wanting to embroider pillow cases, napkins, dresses, etc they would look to their samplers and decide on the patterns to use.  I far prefer the thought of doing it this way than just looking in books or the Internet as we do now.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What amazing designs. I love the one of the animals, so, so beautiful.
    Glad to see you are enjoying your trip :)