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Needlework Picture

Artist/Maker:
Stetson, Mary Ann
Place Made:
Richmond Virginia United States of America
Date Made:
1818
Medium:
silk
Dimensions:
HOA: 16; WOA: 20
Accession Number:
3569
Description:
Embroidered picture, silk on silk. Design features a straw basket of flowers resting on a grassy surface encompassed by a thin line. Inscription is below. Satin stitches in silk floss and chenille threads.

MAKER: Mary Ann Stetson (1806-1880) was born on August 25, 1806 to Richmond merchant Benjamin Stetson (1768-1831) and his wife, Ann Lyle (1768-1806). She would have completed this needlework as a twelve-year-old student at Euphania Ferguson’s school. On January 6, 1825, Mary Ann married Joseph Allen, who served as clerk of the superior court in Richmond.

TEACHER: After “relinquishing her situation as Preceptress” of the Female Academy of Hertford in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, Euphania W. Ferguson moved to Richmond, where she opened “an Institution for the tuition of young Ladies, in all branches of Female Education.” These “polite and necessary branches” included “ENGLISH LANGUAGE; including Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Orthography, Geography, use of Globes…Embroidery, Plain and Ornamental Needle Work…Drawing and Painting, on paper, silk, and velvet, together with Landscape Painting…Miniature and Portrait Painting…Head Painting in water, chalks and oil colors…and Music, $5 entrance, and 75cts per lesson.” (Richmond Commercial Compiler, 22 Sept. 1817)
INSCRIPTION: In ink below design: “Mary Ann Stetson, Richmond, 20 July 1818, Euphania Ferguson’s Seminary”

History:
TEACHER: After “relinquishing her situation as Preceptress” of the Female Academy of Hertford in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, Euphania W. Ferguson moved to Richmond, where she opened “an Institution for the tuition of young Ladies, in all branches of Female Education.” These “polite and necessary branches” included “ENGLISH LANGUAGE; including Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Grammar, Orthography, Geography, use of Globes…Embroidery, Plain and Ornamental Needle Work…Drawing and Painting, on paper, silk, and velvet, together with Landscape Painting…Miniature and Portrait Painting…Head Painting in water, chalks and oil colors…and Music, $5 entrance, and 75cts per lesson.” (Richmond Commercial Compiler, 22 Sept. 1817)
Credit Line:
MESDA Purchase Fund