Reviews

Columbia’s Daughters:

Girlhood Embroidery from the District of Columbia

“With Columbia’s Daughters, Dr. Allen takes the study of girlhood education and embroidery to a vibrant new level, offering readers a closer focus than statewide surveys. The District of Columbia proves to be unexpectedly fertile ground for investigating a variety of embroidery traditions and their interactions within a confined geographical locale. The result is a landmark reference in the study of early American embroidery and girlhood education, a boon to needlework collectors and scholars, and a mother lode of fresh information for students of women’s history and education.”

Susan P. Schoelwer, Curator, George Washington’s
Mount Vernon Estate, Museum & Gardens

“Collectors, scholars, curators, and dealers can once again applaud Gloria Seaman Allen’s depth of research and graceful writing as she turns her attention to the teachers and sampler makers from the District of Columbia. Lavish illustrations and a wealth of documentary evidence make this an enormous contribution to the field.”

Amy Finkel, M. Finkel & Daughter

“With the assistance of colleagues Susi Slocum and Sheryl De Jong, Gloria Allen has produced a meticulous and extraordinarily rich piece of scholarship. Columbia’s Daughters combines a connoisseur’s knowledge with a scholar’s command of archival material to present exciting new information about the role of needlework in the education of women, their teachers, their families, and their world in and around Washington D.C. This is an outstanding contribution to the field.”

Linda Eaton, John L. & Marjorie P. McGraw, Director of Collections;
and Senior Curator of Textiles, Winterthur Museum

“Another monumental achievement for Gloria Seaman Allen. Carefully researched and richly illustrated, this newest addition to regional scholarship on girlhood embroideries is both marvelously informative and aesthetically pleasing. Of primary focus are the samplers and pictorial embroideries produced at the heart of our country’s government and the stories of the girls and young women whose families contributed to building our nation’s capital. Columbia’s Daughters is a wonderful model for integrating archival and genealogical research with the study of women’s material culture.”

Lynne Anderson, Professor, University of Oregon;
and Director, Sampler Archive Project, University of Delaware.

“Dr. Allen, with the assistance of Susi B. Slocum and Sheryl De Jong, has shown that there were ample educational opportunities for ‘Columbia’s daughters’ of almost all economic classes. Meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated, it is a valuable resource for scholars and needlework enthusiasts alike.”

Kimberly Smith Ivey, Associate Curator, Textiles and
Historic Interiors, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation