Lynn Museum plays host to needlework exhibit

The Daily ItemLYNN – What does needlework have to do with literacy?An upcoming exhibit at the Lynn Museum could provide the answer.Entitled “Inside Out: Anatomy of New England Samplers, 1756-1900″, the show will focus on needlework samplers, which were once an integral part of a girl’s education from the 17th to 19th century.”They were originally used to teach both needlework techniques and basic literacy to young girls. Over time, samplers took on many forms n from simple alphabets embroidered on scrap fabric, to highly ornamental works that demonstrated the wealth status of the girl’s family,” said Connie Colom, the museum executive director.Drawn from the museum’s extensive needlework collection, the exhibit presents a wide variety of samplers from New England in their historical context. It examines the materials and techniques used to create these pieces, with samples of fabrics, threads, dyes, and needlework tools from the 18th and 19th century, according to Colom. Samplers were where girls learned their ABCs.Elaine Benefatto, the textile exhibition’s guest curator, has created reproductions of some of the samplers so that visitors will be able to actually touch and study the anatomy of each piece to better understand how it was made.The exhibit opens Jan. 14 and continues through March 4. Belfatto will present a gallery talk on New England samplers on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. Admission to the program is $5 and free to Lynn Museum & Historical Society members.The downtown museum at 590 Washington St. near Central Square is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 but members and children under age 12 are admitted free.For more information, call the museum at (781) 581-6200 or log on to the Web site at

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