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Portiere

Designer:
Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York)
Artist:
Associated Artists (1883–1907)
Date:
ca. 1883
Geography:
Made in New York, New York, United States
Culture:
American
Medium:
Front: Silk velvet, and silk appliquéd and embroidered with silk and wool Back: Silk damask
Dimensions:
115 x 45 in. (292.1 x 114.3 cm)
Classification:
Textiles
Credit Line:
Purchase, Barrie A. and Deedee Wigmore Foundation Gift, 2003
Accession Number:
2003.48
Not on view
The elegant portiere is the most recent addition to the Museum's collection of more than forty works by Candace Wheeler. It is a companion piece to a large embroidery given by her daughter Dora Wheeler Keith in 1928 (28.34.1), showing a field of purple and gold irises spangled with beaded dragonflies. That example and our new portiere, with its appliquéd and embroidered panel of purple and gold pansies dappled in sunlight and shadow, were exhibited together in a display by Wheeler and her new all-woman design firm, Associated Artists, in January 1884, at a benefit to raise money for the base of the Statue of Liberty.

One contemporary article described this portiere: "'The Pansy Bed' by Mrs. T. H. Wheeler, is a good example of distinctly original work both in design, color, and method. The effect is of a pansy bed in its greatest luxuriance of color, and shows how far towards realism and picturesqueness decorative work can be safely carried." The portiere has "A A" embroidered on one of the velvet panels, and "A A" is woven into the selvage of the gold silk-damask lining, which is patterned with interlacing columbines.
Marking: Embroidered "AA" on the left side of the portiere just above the gray panel.
Letters "AA" woven into selvage of the damask at about 5 inch intervals.
Purchased from Eileen Penvenne, Housatonic, Massachusetts; from Lenox, Massachusetts antique dealer; unidentified Lenox, Massachusetts owner.
Related Objects

Bees with Honeycomb

Artist: Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York) Date: 1881 Medium: Wallpaper fragment printed in six colors with four additional metallic colors Accession: 1987.1074.1 On view in:Not on view

Spider Web

Artist: Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York) Date: 1827–1923 Medium: Pen, black ink, and gouache with graphite scoring lines and corrections Accession: 1987.1074.2 On view in:Not on view

Sample

Artist: Designed by Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York) Date: ca. 1885 Medium: Silk, woven Accession: 28.70.24 On view in:Not on view

Sample

Artist: Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York) Date: ca. 1885 Medium: Silk, woven Accession: 28.70.13 On view in:Not on view

Irises panel

Artist: Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York) Date: 1883 Medium: Silk embroidered with silk and metallic-wrapped cotton threads, metal sequins, and cut-glass beads Accession: 28.34.1 On view in:Not on view