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Winterthur Portfolio


This essay examines the Boston fishing lady embroideries in light of eighteenth-century courtship practice, depictions of women anglers in prints and on decorative porcelain, and recreational fishing in colonial culture. In representing the fishing lady as a successful independent angler, women needleworkers addressed, and even covertly resisted, male control of courtship, a crucial life transaction. The regular placement of the image of the fishing lady in the narratives created by the complex embroideries asserts the woman’s pivotal, if brief, authority in the courtship process.

Part of

Embroidering the Landscape (Book-in-Progress)



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