An embroidery with a monument bearing the inscription “Gratitude”. The piece is dated Mar. 24, 1820 and is signed with the initails listed in the “Artist” field. The embroidery is done with chenille thread.
The initials on this composition suggest that it was stitched by six students in the same class. The central plinth is inscribed with one word , ” Gratitude”, which clarifies its intent. It descended in the family of Bishop Jacob Van Vleck who lived in Salem between 1812 and 1822, and may have been made as a special gift for him.
According to the WHS card, this mourning embroidery was done by students of Salem Academy. “Another example of what six girls must have considered their finest work is a small embroidery in silk and crepe, with an ink inscription ‘Gratitude’ on a pedestal, which is crowned with a basket of flowers. Stylized trees bend toward the center, formingan enclosing wreath. At their bases are small crepe flowers. Delicate painted clouds fill the background. The girls dated the work ‘March 24th 1820’ and added their initials.” (Welshimer in Bivins and Welshimer, p. 55).
RELATED NAME: Salem Academy