The Tennessee Sampler Survey, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to document, preserve and present Tennessee’s needlework heritage, was started in 2004. To date, the survey has documented more than 150 genuine Tennessee samplers.
“The Tennessee Sampler survey has done an amazing job discovering and documenting these beautiful works of art. The Museum Center is thrilled to be able to share this history with Cleveland,” says Lisa Chastain, curator of collections.
Sampler making has a long history as a practical and decorative art. Samplers were originally worked as records of stitches, patterns, and motifs. Beginning in the 17th century, sampler making became required of educated young ladies. The sampler served tangible proof of a girl’s skill with the needle.
For many years, textile scholars assumed that sampler making was not practiced in the South. Our research has shown that Tennessee girls made samplers from the era of settlement through the end of the 19th century; however, this group has discovered multiple samplers that have a direct link to Tennessee.
Through this exhibit, visitors will be able to explore and learn about different samplers from throughout the three regions of the state.
In addition, the Museum Center will also be displaying samplers from local collections, which range from the 19th century right up until today.
The Museum Center at Five Points preserves and interprets the history and culture of the Ocoee District of Southeast Tennessee.
The Museum Store sells Appalachian arts and crafts from the region. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The museum is closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays.
For more information, call 339-5745 or visit www.museumcenter.org.