Yager Museum, Hartwick College, Exhibit

A gallery of pictures of the installation of the exhibit Flights of Fancy which was on display from January to August, 2001, at the Yager Museum, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York.

 

Hearts

These 60 hanging pincushions were made by 19th and 20th century Iroquois beadworkers. Many have beaded dates, place names, and sayings on them.

Hearts

Picture Frames

Picture frames have been made since the mid 19th century. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They, like most of the other beadwork, were made to sell as souvenirs.

Picture Frames

Horseshoes

GOOD LUCK horseshoes have been made since the 1890s. Some have sayings such as REMEMBER ME or I LOVE YOU DEAR.

Horseshoes

Shoes

Shoe and boot shaped hanging pincushions have been made for over 150 years. The earliest ones have crystal clear beads. Pincushions are stuffed with sawdust, sweetgrass, cotton, and cat tail fluff, among other materials.

Shoes

Purple Pillows

Rectangular pincushions up to a foot long often feature a beaded bird on a purple velvet background surrounded by a frame of beaded leaves. They probably held long hat pins.

Purple Pillows

Purple Pillow Tops

These two pieces may have been made by the same woman; note the similar bird faces and the "grape cluster" motif.

Purple Pillow Tops

Purple Pincushions

Pincushions come in many shapes and sizes. There are hearts, trilobe hearts, boots, square ones, rectangular ones, and round lobed ones. Purple velvet was a favorite cloth on the front while a material called polished cotton, cambric, chintz, or oilcloth was used on the back.

Purple Pincushions

Birds

Birds and strawberries are the only three-dimensional pincushions beaded on all sides. The wings on Niagara style birds are held up; Mohawk birds hold their wings down.

Birds

1859 Stereo Card With Beadwork

The British photographer William England took this picture of Iroquois beadworkers at Niagara Falls. It is probably the earliest image of Iroquois women. The three pieces are similar to those shown in front of the women in the picture.

1859 Stereo Card With Beadwork

Two Beadwork Styles

Boot shaped pincushions are among the most elaborately beaded forms of Iroquois beadwork. These boots were probably made between 1895 and 1905 by Mohawk beadworkers on the Kahnawake Reserve.

Two Beadwork Styles

Boxes

Box purses often have dates and fantastic birds and animals beaded on them. Note the elephant at the far end. Commonly, BOX is beaded on the lid.

Boxes

Needle and Card Cases

Some of the most delicate and intricate designs are found on double fold and triple fold needle or card cases. It is not known where these were made.

Needle and Card Cases

Early Beadwork

Several of these pieces were made before 1850 and a least one, a small pincushion, is dated 1797 or 1799. Many combine very small and large beads on the same piece.

Early Beadwork

Iroquois Flat Bags

Black velvet bags with floral motifs in two shades of blue, white, pink, gold, and green beads were made for several decades in Canada. They are probably modeled after Scottish purses.

Iroquois Flat Bags

Iroquois Clothing

These are examples of common Iroquois Glengarry caps, round caps, moccasins, and a belt. Research is ongoing to identify the use of the belt with Mohawk beading.

Iroquois Clothing

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