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McCarl Gallery to Present Exhibit on American Architecture in Coverlet Design

Public Relations
Posted: Monday Jan 21, 2013

Jan. 21, 2013

The Foster and Muriel McCarl Coverlet Gallery at Saint Vincent College will present an exhibit, "American Architecture in Coverlet Design," from Wednesday, Jan. 23 to Sunday, June 30. Admission is free and open to the public.

An opening reception will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23.

The Gallery, located on the first floor of the Fred M. Rogers Center will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Fridays, and 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays. The Gallery is open by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays and is closed on Mondays.

Woven into the fabric of many of the 19th century coverlets in the McCarl Collection are images of homes, churches, taverns, factories, state buildings, cityscapes and rural landscapes.

“The most popular architectural style during the colonial years and through the early 19th century was consistently the Georgian or Federalist style, reflecting the colonies’ English heritage,” commented Michelle Mock, guest curator. “Greek Revival architecture grew popular during the years of the Early Republic, as a hearkening to Greek Democracy (and correspondingly a rejection of English style) seemed fitting for the new nation.”

“By the 1840s, however, architectural tastes had diversified, as highlighted in Andrew Jackson Downing’s Cottage Residences, published in 1842,” she continued. “Throughout the cities and countryside, a traveler could find Greek classicism, Gothic Revivalism, Italianate cottages, and Swiss chalets, as well as exotic examples based on Egyptian and Oriental architecture.”

“Visitors will see nods to each of these in the coverlets on display,” she noted. “The most common architectural style depicted in these coverlets, however, is the Georgian style, perhaps demonstrating the weavers’ nostalgia for an earlier time, a pride in a particular heritage or national roots, or simply the popularity of the design in American buildings. This exhibit highlights architectural designs woven into 19th century coverlets. Visitors will find images of monumental structures that remain today, such as the United States Capitol building, as well as buildings for the common people: taverns, factories, churches and humble homes. Busy urban cityscapes with eastern flair are included as well as rural homesteads with simple cabins and meetinghouses.”

Mock received her doctorate in history from Carnegie Mellon University in 2011, where she has taught courses on women’s history and American consumer culture. Her book manuscript is on the modernization of the American home kitchen in the 20th century.

The McCarl Gallery opened in 2008 and houses the lifetime collection of handmade American Jacquard woven coverlets of the late Foster and Muriel McCarl of Beaver Falls, which were a permanent gift to Saint Vincent College. Public exhibits of selections from the collection are shown throughout the year.

Further information is available by contacting the McCarl Gallery, 724-805-2569, info@mccarlgallery.org or www.mccarlgallery.org.

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Photo: A view of the McCarl Gallery’s exhibit on American Architecture in Coverlet Design.

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