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Pamela A. Parmal is associated with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Boston is my home and I know (or knew) this museum well. In fact, I was there they day after Thanksgiving during my visit to Boston.
I was in the Colonial American collections room and saw some of these amazing samplers. There is a new trend in museums. They no longer have the paintings from one period in one place, the furniture in another and the needlework in a third area, all from the same era. Now they are all grouped together.
I saw Paul Revere silver (including one of his amazing stamped silver bowls) right next to his famous portrait by John Singleton Copley. There was glass & porcelain and furniture, all together. I do agree it enhances the display and clarifies it, having it all grouped together.
Sorry, I digress (again).
Samplers from A to Z is not really a Needlepoint book but it is an amazing collection of needlework.
This books has a picture of the earliest sampler in it's collection, a fragment from from Mamluk, Egypt dated between from between 14th & 15th centuries.
Samplers and needlework were part of every young lady's education. In the late 19th century samplers stopped being taught as a regular part of a girl's schooling however, for a number of years now there has been a renewal of interest in this art.
The author of this book says that the girls & ladies who stitched these samplers would be quite surprised by the interested there is in them today.
All of us stitchers are proof of that, in fact I recently found a 1794 sampler by a woman with my name, mary anne (I am marianne) and had to bring it home.
This is a gorgeous book, it would make a excellent gift for anyone interested in the history of or antique stitchery.
Published by the MFA Publications, a division of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2000. This is a glossy cover paperbound book on very high quality paper with 64 pages.
This is a First Edition