Ruth Rogers American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 727

With the serpent entwined around the Tree of Knowledge, this early Boston sampler captures the moment Adam and Eve succumb to temptation. Either for modesty’s sake, or to designate the scene takes place after the Fall, eight-year-old Ruth Rogers applied a needle lace fig leaf to both Adam and Eve. Still in the Garden of Eden, they stand facing one another among birds, beasts and bugs. Like the other known Boston Adam and Eve samplers, the pictorial naiveté of the figures is indicative of the young age of the makers.

Signed and dated beside the figures, this sampler is characteristic of a group of nine known samplers produced between 1724 and 1749 in the Boston area by girls ages 8 to 13. As here, most of Boston’s Adam and Eve samplers retain the long narrow proportions commonly found in similar earlier English examples. The first four band patterns occur in the same order on at least five other examples and are unique to samplers made in Boston in this period. The hexagonal band pattern at the center of the sampler is found only in Boston-area needlework of the eighteenth century.

Ruth Rogers is thought to be the daughter of Stephen Rogers (b. 1693) and Mary Davis Rogers (b. 1694) of Newbury, Massachusetts. Her father was a descendent of Rev. Robert Rogers who immigrated from Somerset, England in 1638 and settled in Newbury. Ruth was one of nine children, five girls and four boys. She died of unknown causes a decade after this sampler was made in 1749 when she was only 18 years old.

Sampler, Ruth Rogers (American, 1731–1749), Silk embroidery on linen, American

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