Choice and Precious Work: Treasures from the Schoolroom
16 October to 18 November 2023
This exhibition will celebrate schoolgirl accomplishments from 1650 to 1750. Accompanying the exhibition will be a major book with extensive essays and a full catalogue. Among the highlights will be a suite of needlework produced by a seventeenth-century London Quaker, Elizabeth Hall, and a century of her Quaker descendants. Having remained in the family since 1683, Hall's suite, which includes but is not limited to a workbox, pincushions, valentines, baby linens, and needlecases, is the most complete set of needlework known to have come out of early modern England since those made by Martha Edlin and Hannah Downes. Research undertaken on the Hall suite and other Quaker needlework will upend previously held beliefs about Quaker girlhood. The exhibition will also feature embroidered and cut paper work caskets and cabinets, embroidered and rolled paper work mirror frames, a variety of beadwork, and accessories such as purses, pin cushions, and embroidered nutmegs.