Embroidered Sampler

Mary Waine American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 727

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.

Embroidered Sampler, Mary Waine (born 1783), Silk embroidery on linen, American

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