National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Pennsylvania German Show Towel Pennsylvania German Show Towel
Rendered by Charlotte Angus (artist),
watercolor and graphite on paper
overall: 55.9 x 42.2 cm (22 x 16 5/8 in.) Original IAD Object: 17 1/4" wide; 55" long
Index of American Design
1943.8.2898
Not on View
From the Tour: Pennsylvania German Folk Art from the Index of American Design
Object 8 of 23

Like elaborately decorated pottery and Jacquard coverlets, "show towels" were made primarily for display rather than for use. They were often hung as decorations on doors or were used to hide more functional towels when guests appeared. Many show towels were made by young girls in anticipation of marriage. Show towels were woven of flax and carefully embroidered. This example is linen decorated with traditional flower and bird motifs. The inscription, worked in cross-stitch, reads: "Samuel L. Weaver 1838 When This You See Remember Me Maria Weaver."

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