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Textile Discovery Day


For immediate release:  April 20, 2010
Contact:  Catherine Bermon
860-658-2500 ext. 102

at the Simsbury Historical Society

What is it?  How old is it? Is it valuable? Bring a family heirloom/historic textile to the Simsbury Historical Society on Saturday, May 8 and find out! 

Textile expert Rabbit Goody will examine textiles from the Society’s collection in the morning and participant textiles in the afternoon during this day-long program.  Textiles selected for examination from the Society’s collection include an 1827 coverlet used by the Barber family and marked with their name, an 1820s girl’s dress said to have been worn by Mary Pollina Phelps at the funeral of her mother, fine and everyday nineteenth century men’s linen shirts marked with the initials of the wearers, and a “milliners model” doll dating from about 1835 that had belonged to Mary E. Humphrey.

Rabbit Goody is the founding owner and director of Thistle Hill Weavers, a small textile mill located in upstate New York with international acclaim. Thistle Hill Weavers specializes in creating historically accurate reproduction textiles.  Their fabrics and trims can be seen at historic sites such as Mount Vernon, Monticello and Lincoln’s Birthplace.  Their work has been featured extensively in the film industry, most recently in the HBO miniseries John Adams, and the Hollywood films The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and No Country for Old Men.  Read more about Thistle Hill Weavers and see examples of their work at www.rabbitgoody.com

Ms. Goody also advises museum professionals, designers, and private home owners on historic window treatments, bed hangings, carpet, upholstery, and other soft furnishings appropriate for period installations. She lectures widely and teaches classes on historic textiles.  She directs the Textile History Forum, a national conference devoted to new research and developments in textile history.  Her publications include Woven History: Technology and Innovation in Long Island Coverlets; articles for Early American Life, Old House Interiors, The Clarion, Heritage and the forthcoming Woven Textiles 1640-1850: A Reference Guide for Identifying and Dating Everyday Fabrics. 

This unique program will take place in the historic Phelps Tavern ballroom, 800 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury from 9:30 am – 4 pm with a lunch break from 12 noon – 1 pm.  Each participant may bring in one textile for examination.  Places are limited, so please make a reservation:  860-658-2500, ext. 102 or programs@simsburyhistory.org.  Admission is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. The day will begin with light refreshments, but participants will be free to lunch on their own.  Picnic tables will be provided in and out doors for “brown bag” lunches; the Society can also recommend several nearby establishments for sit down or take-out meals.

Established in 1911, the Simsbury Historical Society, 800 Hopmeadow Street, owns and operates a 2+ acre complex; its 14 buildings include the Phelps Tavern and barn, the Poisson house, the Scotland North District School House, the late Victorian Carriage House, and the Ensign-Bickford Fuse Manufactory Exhibit Building.  The complex includes a research archive and library, museum store and period gardens.  The Visitor Center, located at the Phelps Lane parking lot, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 12 noon to 4 pm. 






Simsbury Historical Society
800 Hopmeadow Street
Simsbury, CT 06070