Needlework picture (Whitework)

  • Title:

    Elizabethan Lady

  • Category:

    Textiles (Needlework)

  • Creator (Role):

    Erica Wilson (Designer and maker)

    The Royal School of Needlework (School)

  • Place of Origin:

    London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

  • Materials:

    Linen

  • Techniques:

    White work, Woven (plain)

  • Museum Object Number:

    2015.0047.005.001


  • Complete Details



Object Number

2015.0047.005.001

Object Name

Needlework picture (Whitework)

Title

Elizabethan Lady

Category

Textiles (Needlework)

Credit Line/Donor

Gift of The Family of Erica Wilson

Creator (Role)

Erica Wilson (Designer and maker)
October 8, 1928-December 13, 2011
Erica Wilson (1928-2011) is considered one of the most important leaders of the needlework revival in America in the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Born in England, she trained in traditional techniques of embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework in London and came to the United States in 1954. At that time she taught both privately and at the Cooper Union. Interest in high quality embroidery was rapidly growing in the 1950s. In addition to her teaching, Wilson provided designs to clients who included Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., a close personal friend of Henry Francis and Ruth Wales du Pont. Winterthur's collection includes a sampler Roosevelt created in celebration of the du Pont's 25th wedding anniversary (1970.0563); her embroidery is also represented in the collection of the Smithsonian. Wilson married the furniture designer Vladimir Kagan in 1957, whose own prize-winning work is in the permanent collections of the V&A London, the Vitra Design Museum, and Die Neue Samlung in Germany as well as many museums in the United States. Erica Wilson published sixteen books on embroidery, hosted two PBS television shows (her studio in Boston was next to Julia Child's), wrote a nationally syndicated newspaper column, and organized correspondence courses. She had shops in New York (on Madison Avenue), Palm Beach, Southampton, and Nantucket; the latter continues to be operated by her daughter Vanessa Kagan Diserio. Selections from her television shows are newly available online through WGBH (http://openvault.wgbh.org/custom_collections/4#media), some of which feature embroideries included in this gift offer. As well as her own collection, Wilson often featured needlework from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston or the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England) on her shows. Her work both looked to the past for inspiration and celebrated contemporary design.

The Royal School of Needlework (School)
1872
Founded by Lady Victoria Welby in 1872, he Royal Sschool of Needlework (RSN) began as the School of Art Needlework. The first President of the school was Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein, Queen Victoria's third daughter. She was known to the RSN as Princess Helena. The RSN was established to revive the beautiful art of needlework, and through its revival, to provide employment for educated women who, without a suitable livelihood, would otherwise have found themselves compelled to live in poverty. When the school first opened, it was located in a small room above a bonnet shop in London, initially employing 20 ladies. After 1903, following fundraising efforts from Pincess Helena, George, Prince of Wales (later King George V), they were able to build a larger space purposely for the school on Exhibition Road, near the V&A Museum. At its peak, the RSN had about 150 employees. RSN is now located at Hampton Court Palace where it continues to teach the art of hand embroidery in studio classes. They also offer tours, exhibits, and events for the public. (http://www.royal-needlework.org.uk/content/13/history (Date Accessed: May 25, 2016, RGW)

Place of Origin

London, England, United Kingdom, Europe

Materials

Linen

Techniques

White work, Woven (plain)

Construction Description

Hand-embroidered

Dimensions (inches)

9 (L) , 12 (W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

22.86 (L) , 30.48 (W)

Object Description

Text available soon.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Wilson, Erica. 1973 Erica Wilson's Embroidery Book.
Published: p. 241, b/w photo