WILLIAMSBURG — Two new textile exhibits will open at the Colonial Williamsburg Art Museums on December 3.
The first new exhibit – “Stitched in Time: American Needlework” – will feature nearly 60 examples of bedrugs, whitework, embroidered hand towels, quilted petticoats, samples, mourning and memorial needlework , crafts, needlework with religious and geographical influences as well as accessory sewing, will remain on view until January 2, 2025 at the DeWitt Wallace Museum of Decorative Arts.
The second exhibition is an update of the already popular “The Art of Quilting” exhibition which opened in 2021. Fifteen pieces will be added, 12 of which have never been exhibited before. This exhibit setup, which will remain on view through August at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, will include eleven large quilts, a woven blanket, and three doll-sized quilts that tell stories about the people of the America’s past and the societies they lived in.
“For decades, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has collected textiles from a wide and highly diverse range of ethnic, cultural and regional communities,” said Ronald L. Hurst, Senior Vice President for Education and Historic Resources. “These new exhibits allow us to share these beautiful documents steeped in the history of early American society with the visiting public.”
The history of sewing and textiles is long and long, according to Colonial Williamsburg. They were particularly common threads in the lives of most women of the 18th and 19th centuries, across social, economic and geographical boundaries. Early American women—whether poor, slave, native, middle-class, or wealthy—helped furnish their family’s home and enriched their homes and clothing by embellishing textiles with decorative stitches. .
“We are thrilled to share the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s regionally and ethnically diverse needlework collection with visitors to our museum,” said Kimberly Smith Ivey, Senior Curator of Textiles. “More than 50 textiles for comparison were selected from areas of New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southern, and Western Frontier. Highlights of the exhibit include a schoolgirl sampler created by a young Jewish girl who registered her work with her hometown of Chicago.Another extraordinary embroidery was created by an Irish immigrant in Frenchtown, Michigan at the school of the Oblate Sisters of Providence, co-founded by Mother Theresa Maxi Duchermin, a Catholic of color.
“Stitched in Time” is funded by the Leonard J. and Cynthia L. Alaimo Endowment for the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, the Jeanne L. Asplundh Textile Exhibits Endowment, and the George Cromwell Trust. “The Art of the Quilter” is funded by the June G. Horsman Family Trust.
Additional information about the art and Colonial Williamsburg museums and tickets are available online at colonialwilliamsburg.org, by calling 855-296-6627 and following Colonial Williamsburg on Facebook and @colonialwmsburg on Twitter and Instagram.