Collections on Loan, Part I

Originally Published Fall 1999

From the very beginning Academy members have shared generously. The first Exemplary included two spectacular pieces. Robert L. Jordan brought a contemporary Chinese man’s jacket. It was gray with a band of subtle embroidery down each side. Paired with it was a fine hand-sewn white 19th century wedding gown – one of Sarah Ann Cohen’s heirlooms.

The next year Fay Andrews brought a spectacular Assisi table cloth. It was an outstanding example of this style. That year the Exemplary also featured a collection containing a piece of embroidery representative of every member of the Academy Staff. It was most interesting to be reintroduced to old friends and new through this display.

Another year, Holly MacKinnon brought a turn of the century walking dress with lovely details.

Several people have shared a complete display. Many people remember Estelle Kelley’s Bunado, traditional Norwegian costumes with crewel embroidered dresses and hardanger aprons. Beverly Booker introduced herself to the organization with a display of her outstanding contemporary embroidery. Lou Kilgore memorialized her mother and our long-time friend Dorothy Mueller. In that display we discovered Dottie not only had the talents we knew about, but a few we didn’t, particularly her wonderful skills as a rug hooker.

DeAnn Gaeth and Frances Kunkel share a love of travel and a lifetime interest in textiles. Together and separately they have consistently supported the Exemplary by sharing samples of embroideries collected from around the world.

One year they brought us dolls – in traditional costumes with wonderful embroidered details. Another year we had a mountain of pillows – with samples of work collected from almost every continent or region of the world.

For more on Collections on Loan, see Part I and Part III of this article.