Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Useful Hours: Needlework and Painted Textiles from Southern California Collections * 1 June - 2 September 2013 * Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Rare examples of early American needlework offer new insight into the lives and skills of the young women who made them like those of Eunice Hooper (1781–1866)(Sampler, ca. 1790. Silk on linen, 21 x 21 ¼ in. Collection of Jonathan and Karin Fielding, Los Angeles) and Rebecca Ives Gilman (1746–1823) (Ives Family Coat of Arms, 1763. Silk, gold and silver thread on black silk, 17 x 16 in. Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, promised gift of Thomas H. Oxford and Victor Gail) which you see pictured here. Taking its title from a verse stitched in a 1796 sampler by 10-year old Anne "Nancy" Moulton, Useful Hours explores the development of needlework and painted textiles in the United States in the late 18th and early 19th centuries through a selection of more than 20 samplers, coats of arms, family trees, mourning pictures, pocketbooks, and narrative painted textiles made primarily by young women in their early teenage years as a preparation for marriage and later life. The exhibition, which includes several exceedingly rare examples of 18th-century American needlework, is drawn in large part from the collection of Victor Gail and Thomas H. Oxford, a promised gift to The Huntington. To provide these surprisingly beautiful, touching, and finely wrought examples with an appropriate historical context, they are juxtaposed with several examples of British needlework, a related painting, American furniture, and other decorative arts objects, along with books and manuscripts from the Huntington’s collections. There will be a Curator tour with Hal Nelson on 12 June (Wednesday) at 4:30 p.m. Members: $15. Non-members: $20. Registration: 626-405-2128. Other programmes include: Taste of Art: The Family Tree on 22 June (Saturday) from 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m. which will explore the early American domestic arts of needlework and cookery with Maite Gomez-Réjon from ArtBites. After a tour of the exhibition, participants will prepare a meal from the classic 1824 cookbook The Virginia House-Wife, which was a popular wedding gift for 19th-century brides. Members: $85. Non–members: $95. Registration: 626-405-2128. Plus an Embroidery Workshop on 27 July (Saturday) between 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Join Ann Chaves of Inglenook Needlework Studio and create a small table runner, with a botanical motif, based on an Arts and Crafts style design. The runner will be embroidered with purl cotton thread on fine Belgian linen. All supplies included in the class fee. Members: $140. Non-members: $155. Registration: 626-405-2128. For more details about this exhibition and programme of activities, click here. Many thanks to Pam for telling us about this.

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