HCHS to Unveil Newly Restored Needlework Sampler

An 1835 sampler stitched by Hannah Gray (1822-1918) will be unveiled at 1:30 pm, Tuesday, May 14 at the Hunterdon County Historical Society’s Hiram Deats Memorial Library, 114 Main Street, Flemington, NJ prior to the Society’s monthly board meeting at 2:00 pm. Needlework historian Marty Campanelli will briefly discuss the sampler, the instructress, and the motifs important to this work’s stylistic group of embroideries.

Refreshments will be served. The public is invited.

The sampler was donated to the Society by a Gray family descendant in 1971. Rediscovered in the archives in 2015, it has been restored and framed through a generous donation from Daniel C. Scheid of Princeton, NJ in memory of artist and needlework historian Dan Campanelli (1949-2017). Mr. Scheid was a co-curator, along with Dan and Marty Campanelli, of the landmark needlework exhibition, Hail Specimen of Female Art! at Morven Museum and Gardens in Princeton, New Jersey in 2014-15.

Documentation by the Campanellis show the needlework to be part of an important Hunterdon County, New Jersey group the couple named Hunterdon House & Heart Samplers in their seminal book, A Sampling of Hunterdon County Needlework: the motifs, the makers & their stories, created for the Society as a fundraiser in 2013. In their book, the Campanellis researched the makers and their instructresses, Amy S. and Elizabeth W. Lundy, whose names sometimes appear stitched on the linen.

An article about the sampler’s rediscovery appeared in the Society’s fall, 2015 newsletter which can be viewed HERE. The sampler, which features alphabets, decorative bands, houses, paired birds, angled hearts, the teacher’s name and a floral vine border has been conserved by Ruth Van Tassel of Malvern, Pennsylvania and framed by Picture Perfect in Flemington, NJ.

The sampler is one of five needlework embroideries in the Society’s collections.