PRINCETON, N.J. — In the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, New Jersey was characterized by a wide range of social and cultural environments. Cities like Trenton, Elizabethtown and Burlington had large, compacted urban populations, while counties like Hunterdon, Warren and Salem were highly rural and sparsely populated. Not surprisingly, these differences are reflected in a survey of the needlework produced by young schoolgirls — “Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, 1726–1860,” currently on view through March 29 at Morven Museum & Garden.
From the elaborate pictorial samplers worked at the Quaker schools in Burlington County to the “towering ladies of Cape May” and the “checkerboard houses” of Somerset County, New Jersey needlework was as diverse as the cities, towns and rural hamlets in which these girls lived and studied. ... Read more