Family Reunion: A Celebration of the Sampler Legacy of Hope Randolph Hacker

Date

May 15 (Sunday)
Family Reunion: A Celebration of the Sampler Legacy of Hope Randolph Hacker
1 p.m.
Auxiliary Auditorium

Understand the singular artistry of textiles through this tribute to Hope Hacker and exploration of the remarkable and unique collection of nineteenth-century Pennsylvania samplers and silk embroideries on exhibit in the Payne Hurd Gallery. Free for members, $8 nonmembers. Reserve your seat now by clicking here.

Twenty-nine years ago, the Allentown Art Museum paid tribute to donor Hope Randolph Hacker (1908–2002), celebrating her generous gift of a collection of embroideries with an exhibition and accompanying catalog, both entitled May Useful Arts Employ My Youth. Then-curator of textiles Margaret Vincent noted that the makers of fourteen of the samplers and other schoolgirl embroideries in the exhibition were related to either Mrs. Hacker or her late husband, William Platt Hacker (1904–1977). These works can be seen in the exhibition The Plain and Ornamental Branches: A Sampling of Pennsylvania’s Girlhood Embroideries currently in the Payne Hurd Gallery.

This presentation is a tribute to Hope Hacker and an exploration of the remarkable and unique collection of nineteenth-century Pennsylvania samplers and silk embroideries, all of whose makers were related to the donor by blood or marriage. Among these needleworks are pieces stitched at Westtown School and the Moravian Seminary at Bethlehem, and a composition drawn and painted by Philadelphia artist Samuel Folwell. 

Kathleen Staples, an independent scholar, specializes in the social and cultural history of Britain and the Americas as expressed through textiles and related craft. She has written, lectured, and curated exhibitions on topics such as weaving and needlework in pre-contact Peru and colonial Spain, embroidery in Stuart England, clothing traditions of enslaved women in colonial South Carolina, and the cultural functions of girlhood samplers and embroidery in Britain and America. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts and The Magazine Antiques. She coauthored, with Madelyn Shaw, Clothing through American History: The British Colonial Era. Her latest publication (2015) is Georgia’s Girlhood Embroideries: “Crowned with Glory and Immortality.”

 
 
Mary Lea (1787–1810), dated MDCCCII (1802), embroidered sampler                  Hope Randolph Hacker