New art exhibit and historic samplers come to Biggs Museum March 7

March 5, 2014

The Biggs Museum of American Art will offer a preview of the Wrought with Careful Hand: Ties of Kinship on Delaware Samplers Exhibition Friday, March 7.  The exhibition, which runs from March 7 to April 20, will feature approximately 60 girlhood embroideries stitched in Delaware between 1755 and 1855.

Also, from 5 to 7 p.m., March 7, in support of Youth Art Month, the Biggs Museum will host an opening for The Face of Creativity, an exhibition featuring artwork created by Delaware art educators and their students. Schools from across the state have submitted a series of self-portraits in a variety of media.

Sampler Symposium

The sampler exhibition also includes a special three-day Sampler Symposium Friday-Sunday, March 21-23. A full day of free lectures is planned for Saturday, March 22, accompanied by paid needlework classes, research classes, and field trips to see sampler collections. Advance registration is required, and there is very limited space remaining. To register, go to For more information about Delaware's Sampler Symposium, see the full agenda at

The Biggs Museum partnered with the University of Delaware's Sampler Archive Project and the international Sampler Consortium on a statewide initiative to locate, document, and photograph schoolgirl samplers in Delaware's public and private collections. Three Sampler ID Days were held last summer, with funds provided by the Delaware Humanities Forum, leading to the discovery of many new samplers in private collections.

A sampler is a piece of embroidery produced as a demonstration or test of skill in needlework. It often includes the alphabet, figures, motifs, dates, decorative borders and sometimes the name of the person (and/or their family member's names) who embroidered it. The samplers selected for the exhibition include historical information about family, friends, and teachers - stitched in silk as names, dates, and initials - illustrating the exhibition's theme of kinship ties.

The Biggs Museum of American Art is at 406 Federal St., Dover; 302-674-2111.

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