Sunday, March 2, 2014

New Jersey Sampler - an Exhibit

sampler 645x379

I had a wonderful encounter in the Huber's booth a few weeks ago.  I met a gentleman (Daniel) who is co-curating this amazing sounding exhibit in the fall of New Jersey samplers at the Morven Museum in Princeton, NJ.  Sounds like a do not miss! From the website:

Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726-1860

October 3, 2014 – March 29, 2015
This landmark exhibition will be the first to focus on the important contribution of New Jersey in the creation of schoolgirl needlework in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. With over 150 works on view, this exhibition will undertake the first survey of schoolgirl needlework completed in the state or by New Jersey girls prior to 1860. This exhibition and accompanying catalogue will create a lasting record of the best known examples. As part of the museum’s mission to showcase the cultural heritage of the Garden State, the curator’s will bring new light to the needlework done in New Jersey during this important period of American history.

Organized geographically, the exhibition will feature works from every region of the state. Although many elaborate and important examples of New Jersey needlework will be featured in the exhibition, the curators have also included more modest examples that highlight other aspects of the educational environment, social class and familial situation experienced by young girls in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A Sampler Discovery Day to be held in October 2013 is expected to help uncover currently unknown New Jersey needlework descending in the families of the makers or in unidentified private collections, thereby expanding the knowledge of these important historical objects.

The exhibition will feature loans from across the country including needlework completed in every New Jersey county (accounting for the numerous re-organizations of New Jersey counties in the nineteenth century). In presenting examples from every part of the state, the exhibition will distill the educational environment that existed in New Jersey from Cape May to Sussex. The exhibition will also compile an accurate picture of girls academies and the instructresses who taught at them. Research being conducted in preparation for the exhibition is uncovering previously unrecognized connections between needleworks through the motifs and designs employed by different instructresses.

The exhibition will occupy 1,709 square feet in five galleries within the second floor of the Morven mansion. This exhibition also coincides with the 350th anniversary of New Jersey and extensive state-wide celebration and programming. A number of presentations are planned to discuss the significance of New Jersey schoolgirl needlework and related topics. Speakers currently planned include: Amy Finkel, Stephen and Carol Huber, Linda Eaton of Winterthur, Peter and Leslie Warwick, William Subjack, Dan and Marty Campanelli and Daniel Scheid.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a needlework stitched by Trenton-born Anne Rickey (1783-1846) “Hail Specimen of Female Art” was stitched onto her sampler in 1798. Anne Rickey was the daughter of Quaker merchant, John Rickey (1751-1829) and his wife Amey Olden (1757-1849).

Curators of the exhibition: Elizabeth G. Allan, Dan & Marty Campenelli, and Daniel C. Scheid.

Above image: Elizabeth Hammell, Burlington County, NJ, August 1829. Collection of Daniel C. Scheid

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