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American Craft

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Sampler

1819
10 1/4 x 10 3/4 in. (26 x 27.3 cm)

Ann Gennett Pixley Lacey
American (1809 - 1841)

Object Type: Textiles
Medium and Support: Silk thread cross-stitch on linen
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Dunn
Accession Number: 1978.191
Location: Currently on view
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The Memorial Art Gallery is fortunate to have in its collection both a portrait of Ann Gennett Lacey and an example of her needlework made when she was only ten years old (see row seven of her sampler). She was probably enrolled at a female academy in Riga, west of Rochester, where she was taught these skills.

Following the American Revolution, schools for young women began to flourish, and fine needlework was one of the subjects (as well as music, reading, writing, and arithmetic) included in the curriculum. The stitching of samplers was believed to be a sign of virtue, achievement and industry, stitched more to demonstrate education than to preserve a skill.

{Excerpted from gallery text panel, Oct. 2011, Colleen Piccone, Curatorial}

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