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Public Relations
Posted: Tuesday Apr 24, 2012

April 24, 2012

An exhibit of patriotic coverlets, Patriotism in Private Life: Antebellum Nationalism in Domestic Textiles and Artifacts, will open in the Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery at Saint Vincent College on Wednesday, May 2 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. During the reception, the Saint Vincent Camerata and Camerata Scholars will be performing a selection of spiritual songs, and hymns from American hymnals of the Antebellum period, including “shape-note” hymns from “Southern Harmony” of 1835 and “The Sacred Harp” of 1844. The Camerata’s performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The exhibit will continue through Friday, August 31 during regular Gallery hours of noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays plus 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. Saturday and Sunday hours are available for individuals or groups by prior arrangement. The Gallery is located on the first floor of the Fred M. Rogers Center on the Saint Vincent campus.

The exhibit was curated by Michelle Mock, a volunteer at the McCarl Gallery. She received her Ph.D. in history in 2011 from Carnegie Mellon University. Her dissertation was entitled, “The Modernization of the American Home Kitchen, 1900 to 1960.

The next exhibit at the McCarl Coverlet Gallery will investigate the varied symbols and meanings of patriotism in the antebellum period through an exploration of woven textiles and domestic artifacts. Patriotic sentiment flourished in this era as Americans fought the Mexican-American War, westward expansion took settlers the length of the continent and new immigrants aimed to assimilate into American life. Moreover, the coinciding deaths of Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson – both on July 4, 1826, the nation's fiftieth birthday – and the centennial of George Washington's birthday in 1832 prompted a revival in celebrations of national independence and the heroism of the Founding Fathers. Yet, patriotism had few modern symbols at its center before the Civil War. No official national anthem or uniform flag design, for example, yet existed.

Instead, eagles, trees, and stars proved popular emblems of the Republic and Liberty. By focusing on the incorporation of these themes in the artistry of common domestic goods, this exhibit will emphasize the patriotism that private citizens performed, not at parades and in town squares, but in their own homes.

Further details are available by contacting Lauren M. Lamendola, curator of the McCarl Coverlet Gallery, 724 805-2188 or lauren.lamendola@stvincent.edu.


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