6026 Germantown Avenue
Reading Between the Threads: Explorations into the Language of Women’s Textiles
It can be difficult to access women’s viewpoints in Early North American history, but textiles, needlepoint, medical texts, and recipe books provide unique insights. With these two, back-to-back lectures, Wyck invites you to consider how women made masterful use of material culture to assert their opinions and to improve their experiences throughout history.
This two-part program is suited for ages 10 to adult (all ages welcome to attend).
Stitching Their Worlds Together: Gender, Faith, and Feminine Material Culture in Early America
In this lecture, Kelsey Salvesen looks at needlework as both practice and product and how it shaped and reflected the lives of girls and women in the 18th and 19th centuries. As stitchers grappled with ideas about faith, race, class, and personal and national identity, these struggles played out in their needlework. Items like embroidered samplers and other sources of stitched text–made by female hands, typically under female instruction and supervision, and circulated among networks of female friendship and descent–provide unique insight into how girls and young women thought about themselves and their places in their families, their communities, their faiths, and the wider world.
Kelsey Salvesen is a Ph.D. candidate in the History Program at the University of Pennsylvania studying feminine material culture for her dissertation titled, “The Word Became Thread And Was Stitched Among Us: Gender, Empire, and Religion in Early North America.”
America’s Bloody History: Menstruation Management in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
Tess Frydman shines a light on the daily realities of managing menstruation before menstrual devices were available over-the-counter. Her lecture explores what women wore to absorb menstrual blood, how women shared solutions and stayed informed on best medical practices, and how they effectively responded to cultural conceptions of menstruation. Despite the scarcity of documentary sources describing menstrual practices, an analysis of surviving material evidence reveals the ways in which networks of women participated in an intimate menstrual culture in antebellum America.
Tess Frydman is the Director of Interpretation and Public Outreach at Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm, and a recent graduate of the Winterthur Program in American Material Studies.
Online sales for this event are closed. Tickets are available at the door (Cash, Check, and Credit Cards accepted).