In Praise of the Needlewoman: Embroiderers, Knitters, Lacemakers, and Weavers in Art
by Gail Carolyn Sirna
Foreword by Shay Pendray
"Women of all times, places, and stations in life have taken needle in hand, either for the most utilitarian of purposes or for artistic reasons. This charming collection of beautiful paintings celebrates the centuries-old iconography of women engaged in needlework and the related arts of knitting, lacemaking, and weaving.
Artists have long sought to capture the needlewoman's quiet concentration and artistic endeavor, and many of the loveliest paintings on this theme, from the sixteenth century onward, are presented in this book. Works by such old masters as Vermeer, Chardin, and Velazquez are followed by major works by the Impressionists and Pre-Raphaelites; the selection continues into the twentieth century with paintings by, for example, Vuillard and Dali. Many of these intimate female portraits are by women artists, including Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot.
A celebration of needlearts and of women in art, this delightful book by a master embroiderer is the perfect gift for needleworkers and for anyone interested in the evolution of the lifestyles of women and their portrayal in painting." --jacket cover