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Artful Adornments

Pam Parmal, the David and Roberta Logie Curator of Textile and Fashion Arts, Musuem of Fine Arts, Boston
Artful Adornments: The Embroidered Accessories of Eighteenth-Century Boston Schoolgirls

Boston girls in the 18th Cent were often boarded into their later teens.

Madame Turfrey, in the South end of Boston, Sept-Oct 1706 placed an ad in the Boston News-Letter: “Mistres Mary Turfrey at the South End of Boston, Intends to board Young Gentlewomen, If any Gentlemen desires their Daughters should be under her Education: They may please to agree with her on terms.”

In reaction to the wanning Puritanism, educating in music, dancing, finer arts and deportment.

The House of Mr. George Brownell posted an add listing both the arts taught and the services offered to the public, including millinery and muslin work.

Elizabeth Murray posted an ad for teaching embroidery stitches and the thread and supplies she sold.
Diary of Anna Greene Winter.

Stomachers and aprons are in the MFA Boston collections. They feature polychrome silk and metallic embroidery- often including similar motifs.
Stomachers: 47.1024, 52.1392, 43.123, 54.1341, 43.1906, 68.593  
Aprons: 46.312, 43.1042, 43.1043, 38.1191, 53.243, 37.454,
An apron and fichu are worked in Dresden work- whitework in fine linen on a delicate cotton ground, openwork.
Another stomacher of white satin worked in silver threads.

One account listed a fee of 6 pounds for the materials for a schoolgirl to work on a commission.
Tags: embroidery, lecture, museum
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