Wednesday 11 October 2017


Treating the needlework sampler as the record of a life overlooked, the Fitzwilliam Museum of the University of Cambridge has curated a collection of over one hundred of these crafty examples (both words have the same Latin root) from the sixteen hundreds up until modern times—often with the morose realisation that these creations made to demonstrate literacy, stitching skills as a future home-maker and cottage-industry entrepreneur are the only trace of their existence remaining. The exhibition also explores how symbolism and subject shifts with time and how in depth research centred around these artefacts—which also were the makers’ creative outlet—can reveal further details about the fortune and circumstance of the individuals and their families.