The Bennington Museum hosted a two-day search for American samplers recently, searching for all samplers made in Vermont. Over 100 samplers were brought through the doors of the Museum, or brought to the attention of the Vermont Sampler Search Initiative. This is unique for Vermont, because until now, Vermont schoolgirls and examples of their needlework have been largely dismissed by researchers in the field.
The professional photographs, which were taken of these samplers, can now be added to the national database featuring examples of this needlework. Once research on them has been completed, they will be found online at the SamplerArchive.org. The search for more American samplers in Vermont will continue next year, with up to four additional locations being planned in different areas of the State.
The Vermont Sampler Search Initiative is part of a nationwide effort to identify, photograph, and document this very particular type of artwork. Volunteers from the community are solicited to help document the samplers which arrive during a sampler ID day. The next such event will be held at the Shelburne Museum next April.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Bennington event, and please help spread the word to your fellow Vermont collectors!