Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Embroidered Sampler

Mary Waine (born 1783)
ca. 1795
Made in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Embroidered silk on linen
20 1/2 x 18 in. (52.1 x 45.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Flora E. Whiting, 1971
Accession Number:
Not on view
The sentiment expressed in the motto on this freely designed sampler illustrates the attitude, pervasive in the eighteenth century, that female education was necessary only to provide something for a woman to fall back on in the unlikely event that all other options for support failed. Most of the middle- and upper-class girls who made samplers would never have to work outside the home to support themselves, so the poor (by today's standards) academic training they received seemed perfectly adequate for their expected futures as wives, mothers, and homemakers.
Inscription: at bottom: When Friends is dead and money spent Learning is most Excellent / Mary Waine her Work Aged 12 1795
Flora E. Whiting, until 1971
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