We asked Barb Hutson to give us a preview of our May field trip. Here’s what she wrote:
“I am looking forward to revisiting the important samplers and needleworks in the collection of the Historic Houses of Odessa again this May. Jim & I were there last June. Barbara Gay visited the museum around the same time.
I was so impressed with their collection of samplers and preserved history! Up until a few years ago Winterthur maintained the buildings and collections. The Quaker Corbit family of Odessa had married into the DuPont family. The HOF eventually re-acquired all the collections back from Winterthur and everything is back where it belongs, in Odessa (according to the docent last year).
In the Corbit-Sharp House, the two beautiful samplers the docent knew a lot about, were worked by sisters Sarah and Mary Corbit, both in 1823 at Westtown School. They were loaded with Quaker spot motifs. The sisters were nieces of Mr. Corbit and had lived in the house. You will find the samplers in their bedroom along with their portraits. On the dresser is placed the collar of one of the girl’s collar depicted in their painting. There are many other artifacts of the sisters in the room. The day Jim & I were there, I just wanted to sit down and just absorb it all!
In the next bedroom are four more samplers that took my breath away. There were also two small needle paintings – silkwork long & short stitches on linen. In the second floor parlor is a bargello – Florentine stitch covered pole screen.
In the David Wilson House is the Ann Jeffries (the lady of the house), exquisite silk on silk needle painting. The colors are brilliant. It one of the most beautiful Delaware Valley samplers I have ever seen.
HOF also has a fabulous furniture and clock collection too! It is like visiting a miniature Williamsburg.
Some of the HOF needleworks are pictured in books by Susan Burrows Swan. A Winterthur Guild To American Needlework, published 1976, see pages 15, 16, 19, and 77. Plain & Fancy, American Women and Their Needlework, 1700-1850, in the 1977 hard cover edition see plate 6, page 80, in the soft cover reprint see plate 6, page 82.
On your way home from seeing all these fabulous samplers you are invited to an Open House at my home in Queenstown, Maryland, an hour south of Odessa. I will have my antiques on display for Guild Members, and I will have some munchies. I hope you can join us.”
Details and directions will be published in the upcoming newsletter. We encourage LSG members to carpool.