Friday 12 February 2010

Adam and Eve Whilst Innocent?

How many samplers do you know upon which sport Adam and Eve in their birthday suits? And doesn't it seem rather improbable that young girls who probably never saw their own flesh unclothed, even while bathing or washing, let alone the flesh of others, should spend a fair few hours cross-stitching or satin-stitching the naked flesh, with or without protective greenery, of our biblical ancestors? While some Adam and Eve couples look positively lascivious, this pair here appears to be modestly wearing, in addition to their greenery, pale body stockings such as those worn by acrobats, strong men and some ballerinas of the period. Or is it simply a case of Honi soit qui mal y pense on my part? Was this first innocent state deemed to be, well, innocent - and an innocent subject for innocent young girls?


  1. I love that - this is something I often wonder about - how did the little girls feel about stitching Adam and Eve, and why are they always wearing their fig leaves? Shouldn't they be totally "au naturel" if they're still innocent? ...I'd dress them too!

    I would LOVE to see one with Adam and Eve in contemporary clothing of the time the sampler was stitched. I've heard of such samplers, but not seen any.


  2. I think this is funny because Adam and Eve did not wear the fig leaves until AFTER they had partaken of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and realized they were naked.

    If they were truly "whilst innocent" they would be in nothing But their birthday "body stockings"! No fig leaves there!

  3. I don't know about acrobats, strong men or ballerina's of the period but do know that within the Morman religious practices of the period that a type of white purity vestments were worn by both men and women underneath their cloths and is still practiced by some today. It would be interesting to know the origin and more about the person that stitched this piece. I am not of the Mormon religion but have studied some about it as my father was a Baptist minister and was very well studied in different religious topics as well as history.

  4. I am a life-long Mormon, and I wear the white garment Rebecca is talking about. The garment is part of a special ceremony in our temples, called the endowment, in which we make covenants with God, and is worn at all times underneath our clothing. From revelation through modern prophets and scripture we know that these temple covenants and the wearing of the sacred garment was instituted from the beginning, including Adam and Eve. The fig leaves they covered themselves with were replaced by the garment (which God prepared for them), which were made from animal skins at the time. The garment is referred to many times throughout the Bible. I would have to say that the needleworker is not a Mormon because they fig leaves would not be present at the same time as the garment, and because we hold the garment extremely sacred and would never display it in a work of art.

    To learn more about the temple and the endowment, visit this link:

  5. Oh, and the garment is not a body stocking- never was.