6/21/2019 Phillips Museum of Art

Stitched Stories: Women’s Narratives in Regional Textiles

Gibson Gallery 
September 3–December 6, 2019

This exhibition reexamines textiles found in the Phillips Museum of Art's permanent collection, crafted by women from the 19th through the 20th centuries. By analyzing the narratives told through the fabrics, viewers can witness the women's efforts to document their lives, be agents of social change, and build community through their handicraft. Understanding the crucial role that women had in the realm of creativity with textiles, Stitched Stories redefines what is considered a work of art.

Opening Reception, September 19, 2019, 5:306:30 p.m., Gibson Gallery

“Cloth is my Field, Needle is my Plow: Pennsylvania German Women's Work” by Lisa Minardi, October 3, 2019, 5:00 p.m., Booth Ferris, Steinman College Center 

Join us for a look at a broad range of Pennsylvania German textilesincluding quilts, samplers, hand towels, bed linens, clothing, pincushions, and more. This talk will be presented by Lisa Minardi, Executive Director of The Speaker's House and the new Center for Pennsylvania German Studies in Trappe, Pa. 

Minardi's presentation will be followed by a behind-the-scenes look at show towels and samplers from the Phillips Museum of Art's collection. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to see textiles that are rarely on display and pulled from storage just for this special program!

“I Am: A Shared American Story” by Joan Gaither, November 21, 2019, 5:30 p.m., Booth Ferris, Steinman College Center

 Dr. Joan Gaither is a documentary story quilter from the Baltimore, Maryland area. She is a retired professor who started teaching at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 1996. She created her first hand-stitched, narrative quilt in 2000 titled “My Story: A Family Quilt” which included multiple layers, materials, and textures.  She has made 172 quilts since then.

“As more quilts began to take shape, deeply buried memories became “unlayered” in fiber and mixed media to address issues of celebration, identity, protection, racism, and survival. My process is reflective and requires interaction with the selections of fiber type, texture, color and objects of embellishment that then put gold threads of hope and celebration into my personal narrative art works.” – Dr. Joan Gaither


Thumbnail Image Credit: Unknown maker, Amish Diamond Checkered Quilt, 20th C, Mixed fabric, Courtesy of the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, #2015.00.1711 


  • Striped silk dress from the late 19th century Image Credit: Unidentified maker, Dress, c. 1860, Silk and cotton, Courtesy of the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, #2015.00.1719
  • The circular needlework embroidery shows a young woman holding stalks of grain in her left arm talking to a well-dressed young man near a large tree. A white dog sits in the foreground along with a memorial "TO ACASTO," an ancient Greek king. A river in the background separates the foreground fields from the town background, which includes a church, a classical temple, two birds tending a nest, and other images. A narrow border with metallic spangles sewn in place surrounds the composition. Image Credit: Unidentified maker, "Palemon and Lavinia," 1815-1825, Silk, chenille, metallic threads and paint on silk with metallic spangles, Courtesy of the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College, #4869
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