Highlights of the Winterthur Needlework Collection

Date: 6/13/2004
Time: 1:30-4:00
Type: Meeting
Location: Patton House
Teacher: Linda Eaton

The title of Linda Eaton’s lecture is “Highlights of the Winterthur Needlework Collection”
and she will conduct a one and a half hour conservation clinic. Each member may bring
up to three items for Linda to consider. All members will benefit from her insights
into issues of conservation. Linda brings  scholarship, knowledge and enthusiasm
to her presentation of a slide show and lecture . Linda was a key speaker at the Winterthur
Museum symposium last fall and at several other venues  since. Free to members,
$20 for non-members.


Kathy Bourne began the meeting with a few announcements about the upcoming schedule.
Amy Keaton told us about a special project being done by the National Society of Colonial
Dames to  create an inventory of American Needlework. If you have a piece that
you would be willing to list in the inventory, fill out the form and submit it. Forms
will be available online in the near future.

Kathy introduced Linda Eaton, Curator of Textiles at the Winterthur Museum. Linda
began with some general information about the museum. Winterthur was founded in 1951,
but its history reaches back to the 19th century. Winterthur was the home of Henry
Francis du Pont. Du Pont bought many pieces of needlework to decorate the 175 rooms
of his county estate. The museum includes a research library which is open to the
public, conservation labs, exhibit rooms and eight floors of period rooms to explore.
The museum has over 700 pieces of needlework in its collection.

Linda told us about the needle work and also about the history of the collection itself.
We learned about the first pieces purchase by Mr. du Pont: an embroidered map and
silk work globe. He collected many pieces stitched by girls who attended Delaware
schools. Linda said that the chapter in Betty RIng’s book on Delaware samplers is
fairly small. Sue Swan has done research on Delaware samplers and has donated her
papers to the library at Winterthur They are available for researchers to examine.

Linda showed samplers made over several generations by women who were members of the
same family. It was interesting to note the changes in the style, materials and techniques
over time. Linda said that the differences were due to a change in educational focus,
not a deterioration in needlework skills.

Linda encouraged us to not just look at the sampler itself. She said to look at the
mounting techniques which may vary locally. The secondary woods may also be a ay to
identify where a piece is from. She told us to make sure that we label our work for
future reference. She closed her talk by inviting every to “come and visit the Winterthur
Museum and see the wonderful pieces that we have”. 

Cross stitch

Hope to see you in the stitch in and tag sale in July!
Don’t forget to bring along your 2004 project!