Stuff Let Virtue Be a Guide to Thee: Needlework in the Education of Rhode Island Women, 1730-1830
by Betty Ring
ISBN-10: None
ISBN-13: None
The Rhode Island Historical Society
1983
Soft Cover
Pages: 276
Language(s): English
Very Good - Light cover and edge wear (usual cover and edge wear due to black covers); small (2") surface scratch on lower front cover; inside like new.
$252.00

The goal of this catalogue, and of the exhibition it accompanies, is to establish the recognition of Rhode Island schoolgirl needlework as an important regional form of naive American art within the field of American decorative arts. It will also seek to demonstrate how a group of embroideries, once identified, may be used as a resource in tracing the history of female education in early America. I trust it may thus fulfill a mission that has dominated my thoughts and filled my working hours for fully a decade. My purpose is to convince academic historians and antiquarian scholars of the importance of samplers and other schoolgirl embroideries as documents of educational history in both England and America. While there are few remaining records of female education from the Renaissance until the Industrial Revolution, tangible evidence of school attendance exists in abundance in the form of needlework and indicates that girls received more schooling that historians have recognized. This extraordinary form of material culture can yield key information about schools and teachers as well as about the customs and attitudes of their times. For here are unique artifacts--signed, dated, well-preserved and untampered with--and they survive in astonishing numbers; yet their potential historical value has never been fully investigated, nor, in fact, even acknowledged.