Author

Gloria Seaman Allen, a former curator and then director of the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in Washington, D.C., has written and lectured extensively on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century textiles and textile workers from the Chesapeake region. In addition to exhibition catalogues and two books, A Maryland Album: Quiltmaking Traditions, 1634-1934 and A Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery 1738-1860, she has authored more than thirty articles on textiles and decorative arts for such publications as The Magazine Antiques, Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly, PieceWork, Winterthur Portfolio, and the Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts.

A graduate of Smith College, she received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in American Studies from The George Washington University with concentrations in material culture and folk life. Her dissertation explores the roles of slave women in cloth production on large plantations in the Chesapeake region. She lives with her partner, two dogs, and two cats on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

List of Selected Textile Publications

  • “Embroidered Maps from Alexandria, District of Columbia,” Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Winter, 2011.
  • “Pictorial Embroideries from Antebellum Alexandria: The Students of Sarah Eliza Edmonds,” Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Fall, 2011.
  • A Maryland Sampling: Girlhood Embroidery 1738-1860, Maryland Historical Society Press, 2007.
  • “Architectural Samplers from Frederick County, Maryland,” The Magazine Antiques, April 2007.
  • “Ann Barclay Cloud’s Fruit and Flower Samplers,” Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Spring, 2007, co-author with Susi B. Slocum.
  • “The Silk Embroideries Made at Saint Joseph’s Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland,” PieceWork, July/August 2006.
  • “Early-Nineteenth-Century African American Samplers from Baltimore Schools,” PieceWork, November/December, 2005.
  • “Samplers from the Oblate Sisters of Providence School for Colored Girls, Baltimore, Maryland,” Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Winter, 2005.
  • “Rugs: The Colonial Chesapeake Consumer’s Bedcovering of Choice,” Journal of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Vol. XXX, No. 1 (Summer, 2004)
  • “Ornamental Views and the Changing Landscape of Saint Joseph’s Academy, Emmitsburg, Maryland,” Catoctin History, Spring, 2004.
  • “African American Samplers from Antebellum Baltimore,” The Magazine Antiques, April, 2004.
  • “For the People”: Clothing Production and Maintenance at Rose Hill Plantation, Cecil County, Maryland,” Historic Alexandria Quarterly, Winter, 2003.
  • “Silk Bedcoverings in the Early Chesapeake Region: Interpreting Documentary Evidence,” Proceedings of the Textile Society of America 8th Biennial Symposium, 2002.
  • “Gender Division in Handweaving on Chesapeake Plantations,” Proceedings of the Textile History Forum, 2002.
  • “Slaves As Textile Artisans: Documentary Evidence for the Chesapeake Region,” Uncoverings, 2001.
  • “Needlework Education in Antebellum Alexandria,” The Magazine Antiques, February 2001.
  • “Plain and Ornamental Needle-Work from the Young Ladies Academy of Georgetown: Recent Attributions,” Washington Antiques Show Catalogue, 1998.
  • “Equally Their Due: Female Education in Antebellum Alexandria,” Historic Alexandria Quarterly, three parts (Summer, Late Summer, Fall), 1996.
  • Book Review: Shared Threads: Quilting Together – Past and Present, Winterthur Portfolio, Summer/Autumn, 1995.
  • A Maryland Album: Quiltmaking Traditions, 1634-1934, Rutledge Hill, 1995, co-author.
  • “Bedcoverings in Kent County, Maryland, 1710-1820,” Quiltmaking in America: Beyond the Myths, Rutledge Hill, 1994.
  • “Quiltmaking on Chesapeake Plantations,” On the Cutting Edge, Oral Traditions Project, 1994.
  • Book Review: Quilts of Indiana, Winterthur Portfolio, Winter, 1991.
  • Family Record: Genealogical Watercolors and Needlework, DAR Museum, 1989.
  • “The Flowering of Early American Quilts,” Washington Antiques Show Catalogue, 1988.
  • First Flowerings: Early Virginia Quilts, DAR Museum, 1987.
  • “’Young misses often mark their names with care’: Regional Samplers from the DAR Museum,” Washington Antiques Show Catalogue, 1987.
  • “Bed Coverings: Kent County, Maryland 1710-1820,” Uncoverings 6, 1986.
  • “Jacquard Coverlets in the DAR Museum, Part II: Pennsylvania coverlets,” The Magazine Antiques, January 1986.
  • “’Mary, remember me’: American Quilts from the DAR Museum,” DAR Magazine, April 1986 (Reprinted in Quilters’ Journal, Fall, 1986).
  • Old Line Traditions: Maryland Women and Their Quilts, DAR Museum, 1985.