Symposium: Nantucket Needlework

Needlearts has long been a tradition on Nantucket. It was not just a hobby, but part of a young girl’s education and later an industry that provided employment for Nantucket Women. We will explore the history of craft on Nantucket as well as several of Nantucket’s iconic companies and what connects them.

Download a full list of events and activities (PDF)



Information

Accommodations

Symposium registrants receive a discount at The Brass Lantern Inn, 11 North Water Street

Activities

Your symposium ticket includes access to the NHA’s Whaling Museum, Historic Homes, and Historic Sites beginning September 6.

We also provide self guided activities during the symposium to explore.

See the list of self guided activities

Luncheon

Sign up for lunch Monday and Tuesday at the Nantucket Yacht Club.

Purchase Lunch Tickets



Schedule

Sunday, September 8

4 – 6:00pm Welcome Reception on the Whaling Museum Rooftop

Join us on the rooftop of the Whaling Museum for an opening reception. The museum opens at 9am, so come early and enjoy the museum and needlework exhibit.


Monday, September 9

Morning lectures in Gosnell Hall
9:00am Doors Open
9:30am Carefully Inwrought: Nantucket Needlework

Aimee E. Newell , Executive Director of Luzerne County Historical Society

A look at the NHA’s collection of needlework.

10:15am A Garden of Stitches: Erica Wilson on Nantucket

Anne Hilker, a doctoral candidate at the Bard Graduate Center in New York City, is archivist of Erica Wilson’s embroideries and papers and the co-curator of next year’s exhibition on the work of Erica Wilson at the Winterthur Museum.

Erica Wilson’s kits, catalogs, books, and press images often reflected her summer life in Nantucket. She took inspiration from the island and also helped foster a renewed interest in the teaching and execution of handwork. This talk considers the ways in which Erica and Nantucket nurtured each other by looking at her career, embroideries, and stitching legacy.

11:00am The History of The Nantucket Looms
Liz Winship. A conversation about the common thread that ties several Nantucket iconic companies together.

Lunch
12:00pm Nantucket Yacht Club
Pre-registration required
Enjoy lunch overlooking the Harbor at the Nantucket Yacht Club. The Buffet lunch will include a selection of salads, sandwiches, water, ice tea, and lemonade.Purchase Lunch Ticket

Tours and Activities
2 – 4:00pm
Stitching Gam
Bring your unfinished project to this uninstructed session and enjoy time with like-minded stitchers. Use this time to share your experiences, tips and tricks, and perhaps learn a new stitch from your neighbor. Open to all levels and those who just want to sit and listen. Williams-Forsyth Gallery
1:30pm NHA Downtown Walking Tour
Included in your ticket. Pre-registration required. Leaves from the front desk of the whaling museum.
3:00pm Siasconset Chapel Tour

This is a unique opportunity to see the needlepoint that is in that chapel. Sheila Daume will be on hand to talk about the pieces in the chapel and tell of its history.

A van is available for those who need a ride to the chapel. Sign up at the front desk of the Whaling Museum.



Tuesday, September 10

Morning lectures in Gosnell Hall
9:00am Doors Open
9:30am Embroidered Narratives: Storytelling Through the Eye of the Needle

Susan Boardman, Nantucket needle artist. Sometimes Think of Me, now in its second printing, a collection of Susan’s narratives written by Betsy Tyler.

10:45am Mary Ann Beinecke’s Nantucket Textile Renaissance
Julie Stackpole, daughter of MaryAnn Beinecke, is a self-taught scholar of costume history. She has made costumes for many historical periods from medieval to modern, with emphasis on 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, for museums, reenactors, and community theater.  Her published book on American costume 1775-1805: Dressing The New Republic , has an extensive collection of vintage clothing 1840-1940. Member of the Costume Society of America.The birth of several textile and needlework enterprises all have a common thread.  Julie tells of her mother’s, Mary Ann Beinecke, mark on the Nantucket landscape, with the birth of the Nantucket Needlewomen and the Nantucket Needlery.
11:30am How to Care & Store Your Needlework
Elizabeth Gilbert.

Lunch
12:30pm Nantucket Yacht Club
Pre-registration required
Enjoy lunch overlooking the Harbor at the Nantucket Yacht Club. The Buffet lunch will include a selection of salads, sandwiches, water, ice tea, and lemonade.Purchase Lunch Ticket

Tours and Activities
2 – 4:00pm Stitching Gam
Bring your unfinished project to this uninstructed session and enjoy time with like-minded stitchers. Use this time to share your experiences, tips and tricks, and perhaps learn a new stitch from your neighbor. Open to all levels and those who just want to sit and listen. Williams-Forsyth Gallery
1:30pm NHA Downtown Walking Tour
Included in your ticket. Pre-registration required. Leaves from the front desk of the whaling museum.


Self-Guided Activities

The Nantucket Needlery Needlework Course

The Needlery’s correspondence course provided 15 notebooks full of samples and exercises. All the books will be available in the Discovery Center to look through at your leisure.


Erica Wilson Video Archive

Erica is often referred to as the Julia Child of Needlework. Like the French Chef, Erica also had a TV show on Public Television. Come to the Discovery Center where you will be able to watch a sampling of her shows. You won’t want to miss this.


Whaling Museum Exhibitions

Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection

Nantucket & The World

Two Hundred Years of American Art on Nantucket: Pairings from the NHA and Private Collections


NHA Historic Homes

Visit three of the NHA’s iconic properties, each representing a different period.

Hadwen House, 96 Main Street

Thomas Macy House, 99 Main Street

Greater Light, 8 Howard Street


Other Locations

St. Paul’s Church, 20 Fair Street,  Needlework and Tiffany Windows
Open daily until 5pm

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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