Threads Its Way to Homewood House Museum
Needles and Threads: Women's Handiwork, Men's Craftsmanship, an exhibition focusing on early 19th- century needlework and related furniture forms, including examples from private collections, other museums, and from Homewood's own collection, will open at Homewood House Museum on Friday, Sept. 7, and run through Nov. 25, 2001.
"Handiwork" played a significant role in the education of young women in the early 19th century. From plain sewing such as mending clothing and the marking of linens to fancy embroidered pictures, needlework formed the basis for instruction on issues from morals and geography to the recording of family history. It is the most important contribution of early American women to the decorative arts. Examples of needlework illustrating characteristic types such as marking samplers, building samplers, needlework pictures and needlework-ornamented objects, all produced by Maryland girls, will be included in the exhibition.
The exhibition also considers the parallel role of apprenticeship in the education offered young men, through examination of related needlework furniture forms from craftsmen such as John Needles and Ralph Forrester. Work tables, a furniture form specifically designed for use by women as a fashionable way to store handiwork in progress; side chairs; sewing boxes; pincushions; embroidery hoops and needle cases help complete the picture of needlework in early 19th-century Maryland.
In conjunction with the exhibition, Homewood will offer a symposium on Sept. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and gallery talks on Sept. 29, Oct. 27 and Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. It will also offer workshops on caring for historic textiles, a needlework "discovery day," and hands-on instruction in creating flame stitch pocketbooks and samplers.
Homewood House Museum, located at 3400 North Charles Street on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the exhibition is included as part of the house tour. For more information call Homewood House at 410-516-5589.
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