"The Misses Martin's School of Portland, Maine"

"The Misses Martin's School of Portland, Maine"

with Laura Fecych Sprague, Independent Museum Curator

Co-presented with Maine Historical Society.

Some of America's finest Federal-era schoolgirl art came from Portland, Maine, through the Misses Martin's School. William Martin and his wife, Elizabeth Galpine, both well-educated Londoners, set a new standard for American education when they emigrated to Maine and established the school, and as Maine's leading female academy from 1804 to 1829, the Misses Martin's School became known for the fine schoolgirl art attributed to its students. Laura Fecych Sprague offers a lecture on this little-known chapter in Portland's history, highlighting the school and the objects made by its students, from charming drawings and penmanship to exuberant needlework and paint-decorated furniture. Several PMA works, central to this study and connected to the exhibition Model Citizens: Art and Identity in the United States, 1770-1830will be highlighted. 

Laura Fecych Sprague is an independent museum curator and has studied the decorative arts and material culture of early Maine for over 30 years, contributing to research, exhibitions, and publications for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Maine Historical Society, and Tate House. She has published and lectured widely on Maine material culture, most recently at Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Fenimore Art Museum.

Image: Maker Unidentified, Embroidered Mourning Picture (detail), circa 1813, silk, chenille, watercolor, 16 5/8 x 18 5/8 inches, museum purchase with support from Sally c. Fowler, Payne W. Middleton, and Lorinda P. DeRoulet in memory of Ann Payson Holt; Mr. and Mrs. Wilmont M. Schwind, Jr., the Neal Allen fund, the Emma Stuyvesant Eastman Fund, and the McLellan Sweat House Fund, 1987.43

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