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Boston Fishing Lady Embroidery Series

Embroidered picture of a reclining shepherdess, by Esther Stoddard, Northampton, USA, mid-18th century. Embroidered picture of a reclining shepherdess, by Esther Stoddard, Northampton, USA, mid-18th century.

The Boston fishing lady embroidery series is a popular name given to a series of embroidered pictures dating to the mid-eighteenth century, some of which feature women fishing. Such embroidered images were popular in the Boston (Mass.) region of the USA and were made by female members of prominent New England families attending various Boston boarding schools, as a ‘certificate’ of their embroidery skills.

The pictures were usually worked in tent stitch using a fine silk thread on a linen ground.

Other images in this ‘series’ included men and women walking together, men on horseback, shepherdesses, women spinning, birds, animals and idealised landscapes. The Esther Stoddard picture, for instance, is an example of this embroidery genre. The Stoddard picture depicts a sleeping woman (a shepherdess) in a landscape filled with animals, birds, a large house, pond and so forth.

Sources

  • CABOT, Nancy Graves (1941a). 'The fishing lady and Boston Common,' Antiques, July 1941, pp. 28-31.
  • CABOT, Nancy Graves (1941). 'Engravings and embroideries: The source of some designs in the fishing lady pictures,' Antiques, Dec. 1941, pp. 367-369.
  • NYLANDER, Jane (1985). The Great River: Art and Society of the Connecticut Valley 1635-1820, Hartford, Connecticut: The Wadsworth Atheneum.
  • PARMAL, Pamela (2012). Women’s Work: Colonial Embroidery in Boston, Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Digital source (retrieved 12 March 2016).

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 30 June 2016).

GVE

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 January 2017 17:45