Wednesday 23 December 2009

Textile Collections on Line - The Art Institute of Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago has a splendid collection of 102 samplers from the USA, France, England, Netherlands, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Mexico, and Denmark - whence the sampler above dated 1757.
Not a sampler this, but rather a special stitched picture from England in the mid 17th century. Stitched portraits in cartouches are frequently found on Stuart embroideries, sometimes on stitched caskets, and are perhaps a likeness of the maker, or family members of the maker.

Mexican samplers have a great exhuberance and this by Tomasa Casbal which she stitched in 1849 is no exception. The particular format of stitching around all edges of a square is very typical of Mexican and some Spanish samplers.
Also represented in the collection are some wonderful quilts, including Gees Bend quilts and this one of Buildings, Animals and Shields of around 1890.
Have fun visiting the Art Institute of Chicago!

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