Friday, April 12, 2024

Exhibition: How Do We Know? A Behind the Scenes Look at "Combing History: Flax and Linen in New Hampshire"

By Kimberly Alexander
How do we know about the textiles and the families whose stories are highlighted in the exhibition? Any exhibition, no matter the size or scale, is the result of hundreds of hours of work on the part of numerous of individuals. Over the last year, the project leads and the Museum Studies students involved in the UNH Flax-to-Linen Project conducted extensive research into a wide variety of New Hampshire collections and archives. 

Scouring day books, journals, shop accounts, receipts, newspapers, wills, and probate records, in combination with examination of historic textiles saved and passed along by family members, helped create a body of material to work with and cull through. In addition, the Flax Team worked with town, inventory, tax, poll, and census records.  

All of this – and much more-- goes into creating the background of, and connections to, the individuals and their possessions which you see in this installation.

Photo above: Beth Gallucci, Curator; John Cookson, Woodman Museum Curatorial Assistant and Jonathan Nicols, Director of the Woodman Museum read through Dover account and day books.

John Cookson, Woodman Museum and Astrida Schaeffer, Adjunct Curator, Irma Bowen Textile Collection. UNH Library, Special Collections,
Exhibit curator, Beth Gallucci, UNH Museum Studies and John Cookson prepare for exhbit opening.

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