Tuesday, October 17

What Sewing Samplers Tell Us About Women’s Lives from the 17th to 19th Centuries

Sampler with framing border (1830)
"There are rare records of women’s voices in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially ordinary middle and lower class women. An exhibition at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum is approaching sewing samplers as documents of these overlooked lives, as the objects are sometimes the sole trace of a woman’s name, or existence. Created to demonstrate stitching skills, both for employment and as a future homemaker, they range from alphabets in thread that proved literacy, to dense embroidery that showed off needlework talents. Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum features more than 100 examples of samplers from the 17th to early 20th century, most of which are rarely on view due to their fragility and sensitivity to light. ..."
Sampled Lives: Samplers from the Fitzwilliam Museum
What is a Sampler?
V&A: A History of Samplers
Hidden Messages: Symbolism in Seventeenth Century Samplers
Towards an Identity

White work band sampler (1660), inscribed "Elizabeth Potter"

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