Monday, December 12, 2011


Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies

Day three of our adventure took us back into Philadelphia. Today our group expanded to include three friends from Canada who had arrived for the event at Winterthur as well.   Our first stop was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art  , The Dorrance H. Hamilton Center for Costume and Textiles at the Perelman Building where their study rooms are.  

Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies
Kristina Haugland met us with several items she had pulled from their collection. We had made several requests for pieces that our group knew they would like to see and she pulled a few she felt we would enjoy as well.  

The Philadelphia Art Museum has over 500 samplers in all and this does not include the silk pictures, small accessory items such as wallet, and other sewing trinkets or caskets.

I must say that I took very little notes here! Hopefully the photos will do it all justice. Needless to say we were all like kids in the best candy store in town. Keeping our hands behind our backs, we tried to keep from reaching out and touching and trying not to drool on any of the exquisite pieces.  We wish we could show you our photos but of course, the museum was very gracious in allowing us to take photographs, but stipulated that they could be for our personal study purposes only.  I like to think that the venues we visit are happy to see us come and take our photos for our studies, and I know they appreciate it when we follow the rules they set out.  

It is hard to pick a favorite, but seeing the casket up close and personal and having Kristina open many of the special drawers and hidey holes right in front of us was pretty exciting.  There were two purses that I enjoyed as well and the 18th c. Italian purse one had a great double ruching around the edge that made for a great presentation of the piece.

Those were Becky's favorites - Julie had long been hoping to see some of the samplers from the Whitman collection that are now part of the museum's huge number of sampler holdings.  Seeing Mary Wiggin's sampler in person was wonderful - she completely stitched the background on her sampler - in black!  A lot of the rest of the stitching is in pink, which makes for a very striking statement!  Another absolute beauty is Elizabeth Burton!  This is a Juda Hayle sampler - and to my mind, the most beautiful one out there!  I remember first seeing a reproduction of this sampler in a needlework store.  It was spectacular!  You can still see (and purchase) this chart at The Essamplaire in Canada, which you can reach from your seat in front of the computer via the online store.  The link on Juda Hayle's name takes you to the Scarlet Letter's site where there is a description of the Juda Hayle school, and some other reproductions featured.

We both loved a truly wonderful piece of Hollie Point and Reticellia work so fine it is hard to imagine accomplishing the work.

Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies
If you go to the Perleman, notice the beautiful motifs around the door.  Many you might see on a sampler. A lady from the museum told us that they all had meanings to the insurance company that originally owned the building. But of course the pen was put away at that time and do you think I can remember them! 

Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies
Even though we can't show you our photos of the collection pieces we saw, you can search the collections on line and find many of the pieces in their collections there.  Each of the links in our description takes you to the search results page for that item on the Philadelphia Museum of Art's website

Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies
We then worked our way into town and stopped for a bite of lunch. The day had turned to a beautiful Fall day, with bright skies and lovely for walking. So we left the cars parked and worked our way down the road towards our destination.  There were many interesting shops along the way that caught our attention. We tried desperately to talk Lynne into a special pair of shoes! 

M. Finkel & Daughter was our next stop.  Amy Finkel welcomed all those attending the Winterthur Symposium to an open house at her shop.  Amy is one of the premier sampler dealers in the United States.  
Photo by Barbara Rombold-Gillies
Her shop is always full of wonderful examples of American, English and Continental samplers.  Amy researches her pieces when possible to find the provenance of the pieces and any information that is of interest about the maker and her family. You can visit many of her current selections on line at their web site.   Amy also produces a wonderful catalog called "Samplings" that you can subscribe to and is very useful as a study tool.  

Off we went back to Delaware, we were like kids at Christmastime our heads full of needlework and waiting for the morning when Winterthur's Symposium would begin!   Most of the outdoor pictures on our trip were taken by our friend Barbara Rombold-Gillies.  Julie's camera was always set for close-ups of needlework, so she left it to others to capture the city and excitement around us.  Barbara did a great job!  Her photography is always great and she features a lot of it on her blog, 1thread.  You should check it out!

Even while we're still appreciating the fun we had on our last trip, the opportunity for a very exciting trip hit our blog readers this morning!  Jacqueline Holdsworth of Needleprint is working on a new event in conjunction with an exhibit of the Feller Collection at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.  Mary Brooks is to be the guest curator.  Aaaaaahhhhh!  The planning on this is so early the dates haven't been set yet, but I've already been scoping out airfare prices to England.  Julie was so lucky to be part of the first Ackworth gathering that Jacqueline arranged.  This time, we're both determined to make the trip!  Watch Jacqueline's blog for updates, and click on her flying angel to email her to let her know you'd like to be notified when registration opens! 

Remember there is still time to shop our web site for those last minute stocking stuffers and gifts! We have a lovely new set of  "Mademoiselle's Peacock Accoutrements" perfect for your favorite stitching friend or yourself.  Shipping is by priority mail, so you can still receive it in time for Christmas.  For a gift that lasts all year long, give our "Tokens of Friendship"!  Lovely surprise gifts arrive in the mail four times a year, all wrapped and tied with a bow! These gifts will only be available to those who are participants in the "Tokens of Friendship" program.  Let us be your secret Santa and we will send your friend or loved one a message of your choosing to help keep the mystery alive! 
We hope you are all enjoying this holiday season with your family and friends. Julie and I are looking forward to our annual holiday tea celebration of another year together "In The Company of Friends" and seeing many of our friends at gatherings as well. We thank you all for sharing with us here on the blog and on our web site.

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