Lessons Learned: American Schoolgirl Embroideries
November 23, 2014–May 2015
Lessons Learned: American Schoolgirl Embroideries heralds the return of the Jean and Allan Berman Textile Gallery, located within the renovated American Wing. The exhibition features more than 20 samplers and silk embroideries made by American girls who attended schools in Maryland and other East Coast states during the 18th and 19th centuries.
From opulent to understated, the works provide a fascinating glimpse into early American life. The samplers and embroideries on view were once displayed by families as showpieces to advertise their daughters’ accomplishments. Landscapes, still lifes, tributes to national heroes, and literary and biblical scenes are among the wide range of subjects. One of the most elaborate works depicts the exuberant interior of King Solomon’s palace and the imperial trappings of the Queen of Sheba’s entourage in silk, metallic threads, sequins, and glass gems.
Curated by Anita Jones, Curator of Textiles