“Sometimes think of me": Notable Nantucket Women through the Centuries

  • NANTUCKET, Massachusetts
  • /
  • July 06, 2010

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On Nantucket is the exhibit of Embroidered Narratives by Susan Boardman with biographies by Betsy Tyler, in the Peter Foulger Gallery, Whaling Museum, July 2 – November 8, 2010.
Nantucket Historical Association

The Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) is pleased to announce that its major 2010 exhibition, "Sometimes Think of Me": Notable Nantucket Women through the Centuries," will be opening to the public on Friday, July 2, in the Peter Foulger Gallery of the Whaling Museum, 13 Broad Street.

“Sometimes think of me”: Notable Nantucket Women through the Centuries focuses on the colorful lives and histories of outstanding women from four centuries of Nantucket history. Such fascinating individuals as Wampanoag maiden Wonoma, whaling wife and journal keeper Eliza Brock, whaling wife and journal illustrator Susan Veeder, scientist Maria Mitchell, abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant, and several contemporary Nantucket women will be presented in lively detail using the NHA’s rich collections of artifacts, logbooks, and manuscript material.

The exhibition will feature thirty-four individuals whose lives are the subjects of “embroidered narratives” by Nantucket needlework artist Susan Boardman. In the great tradition of historic Nantucket schoolgirl samplers, as well as the legacy of whaling illustrations in logbooks and journals, Boardman’s embroidered narratives have grown to encompass a history-in-brief of the women of Nantucket from the earliest Native American period to contemporary times. Her work covers the lives of some of the most exemplary Nantucket women—whose spirit of independence, resourcefulness, and ambition, often in the face of their husbands’ long absences at sea—have made them much admired in American history.

Women featured in the embroidered narratives include: From two cultures in the seventeenth century—Wonoma and Mary Gardner Coffin; eighteenth century, the infamous and the well-behaved—Kezia Folger Coffin, her daughter, Kezia Coffin Fanning, and Phebe Folger Coleman; nineteenth century, whaling women—Susan Veeder, Elizabeth Morey, Eliza Brock, Winslow wives Susan Sprague Winslow and Mary Ann Morrow Winslow, Charlotte Coffin Wyer; nineteenth century, African American catalysts—Mary Ellen Pleasant and Eunice Ross; nineteenth century, on the home front— Maria Mitchell, Mary Eliza Starbuck, Susan Emma Brock; twentieth century—Gertrude and Hanna Monaghan, Edith Bouriez, Caroline Ellis, Grace Grossman, Esta-Lee Stone, Mimi Beman, Liz Winship and Debbie Fraker, Joan Manley and Jane Stroup, Edith Andrews, Pat Butler, Molly Anderson, Libby Oldham, and Nancy Chase.

An important feature of the exhibition will be the accompanying book-length catalog, written by island historian and NHA Research Fellow Betsy Tyler. The catalog fills a major gap in the Nantucket literature as an accessible, thoroughly researched history of a broad range of outstanding island women, past and present.

During the exhibition, voice-over readings of selected passages from the journals, logs, and letters of the women featured in it will accompany still images on the projection screens. A related program will begin Antiques Show week with the Friends of the NHA lecturer Sena Jeter Naslund, author of Ahab’s Wife, at 6 P.M. on Monday, August 2, in the Whaling Museum,13 Broad Street. And on Tuesday, August 10, at 7 P.M., Betsy Tyler will talk about her work in writing the histories of the women in the show, at the Whaling Museum.

“Sometimes think of me” will be on display during museum hours through November 8.

 


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