Published: July 10, 2007
The Rufus Porter Museum begins its yearlong 2007 exhibition season with a special loan exhibit of historic schoolgirl needlework. There are 27 pieces on display, dating from the 1600s to 1840, created by schoolgirls and young women as examples of their education and needlework ability.
Many are from New England, and two from the Mary Rea School in Portland, Maine, but examples from England, Scotland, Spain and Germany are also included. These samplers and other needlework pieces may represent the homework of their day, but have been left as an informative legacy for future generations to enjoy and treasure.
Rufus Porter, an artist and inventor who lived from 1792 to 1884, spent his boyhood years in the Bridgton area and painted small watercolor portraits from Maine to Virginia in his early years.
He later moved on to landscape painting on walls of private homes throughout New England. His use of local landscapes with a vivid palette and broad, open brushstrokes was a departure from the styles and content of classical European wallpaper. Because most of his murals were unsigned, it was not until the mid-1930s that his body of work was authenticated. Today he is recognized as an icon of American art and founder of the Scientific American magazine.
The Rufus Porter Museum and Cultural Heritage Center celebrates the contributions of Rufus Porter to American arts and industry. The center is in a house at 67 North High Street, Route 302, with seven Porter murals painted on the walls, circa 1828. It is open Thursday to Sunday from noon to 4 pm.
For information, www.rufusportermuseum.org or 207-647-2828.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm