Noonmark Antiques

Hail Specimen of Female Art! New Jersey Schoolgirl Needlework, Morven Museum October 3, 2014 – March 29, 2015


Over the holidays this year, we are doing a ‘staycation’. This provides the perfect opportunity to catch up on some visits to local sites.

We planned to meet our adult children in Princeton for dinner. I decided to visit Morven beforehand to study the schoolgirl sampler exhibit. If you are a needlework enthusiast, this exhibit is for you. 151 examples of fine schoolgirl stitchery from all 21 counties of New Jersey dating from 1726-1860 are represented on the second floor of Morven. To my delight, tours are self guided. There are five galleries representing five sections of the state. Various contiguous counties are grouped together. The first hour I spent in just the Burlington County Gallery, carefully noting regional similarities and differences. Spectacular twin samplers by Elizabeth and Jane Hammell hang together for easy comparison. Of special interest to me are examples by girls from Moorestown, Medford, and Evesham.

 In the Salem County Gallery, you will find a sampler made by Caspar Wistar’s wife, Rebecca Bassett at age 10. Caspar Wistar was the original owner of the Wistarberg Glassworks in Alloways.

There were many more discoveries that made this visit a pleasure for me. I especially appreciate the companion book available in the museum shop which includes all the information from the exhibit.

Adult tickets are $6.00

Even though parents brought their children to this exhibit, I would not recommend this for children, in my opinion. The samplers are hung at adult eye level and above, which make them difficult for children to see. The few children that were there did not seem interested and were eager to move on. However, there were a number of thoughtful adults carefully examining the works and spending a good deal of time with each one. It is a collector’s dream.

For more information see Princeton, New Jersey