Tuesday, September 23, 2008

1925 Anne Orr Design Studio Sampler

1925 Anne Champe Orr Design Studio Employee
Nashville, Davidson Co.
22 1/2"V x 17"H © TSS 213

Janet and I documented this intriguing motif sampler during our last foray into Brentwood. Although our cut-off date is 1900, we completed a thorough analysis of this piece because of the signature.

Anne Champe Orr (1869-1946), a native of Nashville, was a well-known quilt and needlework designer. She was needlework columnist for Good Housekeeping in the 1930s. She was an entrepreneur, ultimately employing dozens of women to produce her designs and directing a successful mail order business from her home in present-day Hillsboro Village (21st and Belcourt, today the site of another Nashville institution, the Pancake Pantry).

This sampler was probably not worked by Anne Orr herself, as she held a noted antipathy towards the needle. In her book Hard Covers for Soft Times, Merikay Waldvogel quotes Orr's neighbor, Andrena Phillips, "I don't think Anne Orr knew anything about a needle…I thought it was strange that someone could do all those needlework patterns without knowing a bit about the needle."

We believe that this sampler was a product of Orr's "needlework cabinet," the model stitchers who crafted her patterns in embroidery.

Merikay Waldvogel will be presenting her most recent (quilt-related) research on Anne Orr at the 2008 seminar of the American Quilt Study Group, to be held October 2-6 in Columbus, OH.

Waldvogel, Merikay. "Refining the Tradition: Anne Champe Orr, 1875-1946." Soft Covers for Hard Times: Quiltmaking and the Great Depression. Nashville,TN: Rutledge Hill Press, 1990, pp. 24-37.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Article on Tennessee Samplers

An article I wrote for Needle Arts, published by the Embroiderers' Guild of America, is in the latest issue.

The article is an overview of the work we do. Three samplers, one from each part of the state, are featured.

The Embroiderers' Guild of America is "is a national non-profit educational organization offering study and preservation of the heritage and art of embroidery."

Citation for article: Core, Jennifer C. "Tennessee Samplers." Needle Arts. September 2008: 12-15.