Virtual Lecture 33: ‘Este dechado’: Mastering Needlework in Mid-19th Century Mexico with Dr. Lynne Anderson and Dr. Mayela Flores Enriquez

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‘Este dechado’: Mastering Needlework in Mid-19th Century Mexico

Lecturers: Dr. Lynne Anderson and Dr. Mayela Flores Enriquez
Live Lecture Date: Saturday, October 14, 2023 1PM Eastern
Live Lecture Registration: September 18 – October 12, 2023 1PM Eastern
Format: Live Lecture Only
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Drs. Lynne Anderson and Mayela Flores will introduce the world of Mexican sampler making, showcasing the unique features of Mexican “dechados” and discussing the important role of needlework in Mexican female education, including how this changed over time due to historical, cultural, and religious influences. They will then focus on the mid-19th century educational options for girls and young women, and the impact of a more secular educational system on learning needlework. Many of the most significant Mexican samplers were embroidered in the country’s urban schools for girls during the middle of the 19th century. Created as part of a structured educational program that included the study of Catholic catechism, reading, writing, mathematics, and needlework; dechados were designed to help translate these subjects into the mastery of basic sewing, fancy embroidery, and complex pulled-thread work. To illustrate this integration of needlework instruction in the broader context of female education, Lynne and Mayela will share their analysis of a very special Mexican sampler and the context in which it was created, yielding insight into the materials and techniques of domestic needlework, as well as the cultural and social values of the time.

About Dr. Lynne Anderson:
Dr. Lynne Anderson is a retired professor of education from the University of Oregon where she specialized in technology-based solutions to reading, writing, and studying for marginalized students. She is currently Director of the Sampler Archive Project, a nationwide effort to locate, photograph, and document all American schoolgirl samplers in public and private collections – sharing them with scholars and the general public in a freely available online searchable database. Dr. Anderson is also the president of the Sampler Consortium, an international membership organization dedicated to the study of schoolgirl samplers and related girlhood embroideries. The Sampler Consortium has three major goals: advance scholarship on historic samplers and related needlework; increase access to information about schoolgirl samplers and early female education; and provide logistical and financial support to projects aligned with these goals. Toward that end, she is currently collaborating with local coordinators on the Vermont Sampler Initiative and the Dutchess County Sampler Initiative. Dr. Anderson regularly publishes on the topic of schoolgirl needlework and is a frequent speaker at state, national, and international venues.

About Dr. Mayela Flores Enriques:
Dr. Mayela Flores is an art historian and professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana. She specializes in the intersections between art history, material culture, and gender studies, with a particular focus on the history and practice of embroidery in Mexico. With extensive experience as a curator, researcher, and speaker, Dr. Flores has collaborated with various museums in Mexico since 2008. In addition, she has authored critical papers and book chapters on the history of Mexican women’s arts and crafts. She has served as a researcher for the National Museum of Art (MUNAL) and as the Head Curator at the Franz Mayer Museum located in Mexico City.