The final exhibition I went to see at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston was in its new Art of the Americas wing. Embroideries of Colonial Boston: Samplers, is the first of three Embroidery exhibitions being held throughout the end of this year and the next. Unfortunately I do not believe I will be able to see the others, but this one was well worth it.
I have read about samplers in The Subversive Stitch, but to be able to see them first hand was breathtaking. The stitches are so tiny and neat, the depictions of bible scenes, animals and motifs intricate.
I was particularly taken by some of the mottos embroidered into the samples, which I will share with you here:
Martha Decosta is my name New England is my nation Boston is my dwelling place and Christ is my Salvation
When I am dead and laid in grave and all my bones are rotten in this you see remember me and let me never be forgotten
Sampler by Martha Decosta 1749, Boston Mass.
In prosperity friends will be plenty : but in adversity not one in twenty
Sampler by Hannah Storer, age 8, 1747 Boston, Mass.
O may I always ready stand with my lamp burning in my hand : May in sight of Heaven rejoice whener I hear the bridegrooms voice
Sampler by Prudence Clarke, 1757
If you are in the Boston area for any of the embroidery exhibitions I urge you to go see them. They are very well presented and the information with them is astounding!