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  • Sampled Lives

    The samplers displayed in this gallery have been chosen not to demonstrate the quality of the schoolgirl embroidery of the past, but rather to be studied as stitched documents. By analysing and interpreting the motifs and patterns, the pictorial elements and inscriptions, each sampler tells a story of female accomplishment, of a girl’s growing sense of identity, of a desire for education and the changing attitudes to, and opportunities for, employment in adult life

  • Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

    A dazzling journey through the decorative arts: from the hand-crafted luxuries of the Renaissance to the first stirrings of mass commerce in the Enlightenment.

  • Weaving Stories

    Many stories in the Bible are very dramatic and exciting. They make good pictures and have inspired artists for hundreds of years in every possible medium: wood, stone, paint, glass, mosaic, weaving and embroidery.

  • Stories behind the Stitches: Schoolgirl Samplers of the 18th and 19th Centuries

    Discover information about the makers, the schools they attended and the function of needlework in these institutions.

  • Fans

    An online exhibition exploring the history of the fan in its various forms and the range of fans in the Fitzwilliam Museum collection.