Old Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries (1900)

Premises of the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, Mayfair, London Premises of the Fine Art Society, New Bond Street, Mayfair, London

In March 1900, the exhibition 'Old Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries' was held at the Fine Art Society, London. The exhibition was curated by Marcus Bourne Huish, together with a lady called Mrs. Head (author of The Lace and Embroidery Collector) who gave details about techniques and stitches. The exhibition included samplers made by the Brontë sisters and by the mother and grandmother of John Ruskin.

The exhibition was divided into three sections: examples of embroidery under the general heading of 'Pictures in imitation of tapestry,' then over 350 samplers, and thirdly sundry items such as book covers, garments, caskets, purses, and so forth, which were embroidered by those who had learned the art of sampler making or were using samplers as guides for their work. There were samplers from every decade since the mid-seventeenth century. Many of the items on display came from Huish’s own collection.

A small catalogue with the same name accompanied the exhibition. The catalogue was twelve pages long. Soon after, the catalogue was expanded by Huish into an extended study called Samplers and Tapestry Embroideries (1900; London: Longmans, Green and Co.; only 600 copies being printed). This book was reprinted in 1913 as an enlarged version that included extra information, especially about American samplers. This book has become a classic source of information about the history of British, European and North American samplers.


Digital source of illustration (retrieved 8 June 2016).


Last modified on Monday, 26 June 2017 16:20