FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristen Levesque
Shelburne Museum presents a Virtual Exhibition Opening –
Right Under Your Nose: Children’s Printed Textiles from the Collection of JJ Murphy and Nancy Mladenoff
SHELBURNE, Vt. (January 11, 2023) Shelburne Museum is launching an online exhibition highlighting a newly acquired and fascinating collection of children’s textiles and marking the launch with a free webinar featuring the collectors as special guests with Shelburne Museum Curator Katie Wood Kirchhoff on January 18 at 6 p.m.
Right Under Your Nose: Children’s Printed Textiles from the Collection of JJ Murphy and Nancy Mladenoff highlights 21 of the playful, colorful, and didactic handkerchiefs from the collection of more than 3,200. Motifs include insects, alphabets, circus clowns, shadow puppets, the solar system, and a lumberjack beaver printed on cotton handkerchiefs manufactured for children between the 18th and 20th centuries.
These intimate, everyday objects taught lessons, instilled predominant social and cultural standards, and sometimes even inspired a giggle while providing soothing relief for a runny nose. Close examination of these objects reveals technological innovations in manufacturing, shifts in understandings of children and the idea of childhood, the development of ideas like nationalism and cultural identity, the evolution of gender norms and racial stereotypes, and more.
Right Under Your Nose is inspired by Murphy and Mladenoff’s compendium of more than 3,200 examples of children’s printed textiles, gifted to Shelburne Museum in 2020. Nancy Mladenoff is an artist based in New York City and Professor Emerita of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work is in the permanent collections of four major museums in the Midwest. J. J. Murphy is the author of Children’s Handkerchiefs: A Two Hundred Year History (Schiffer, 1998) as well as four major books on independent cinema. He is Professor Emeritus of Film at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
This digital exhibition is a precursor to the upcoming exhibition at Shelburne Museum featuring dozens of examples of handkerchiefs and associated ephemera in The Dana-Spencer Hat & Fragrance Textile Galleries from May 13 to October 21.
To register for the webinar, please visit ShelburneMuseum.org.
Image caption: Unidentified designer and manufacturer, Solar System Child’s Handkerchief, date unknown. Printed cotton, 9 x 8 1/2 in. Collection of Shelburne Museum, gift of Nancy Mladenoff and J.J. Murphy. 2020-9.2751. Photography by Andy Duback.
Hi-res images available HERE.
About Shelburne Museum
Founded in 1947 by trailblazing folk art collector Electra Havemeyer Webb (1888–1960), Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont, is the largest art and history museum in northern New England and Vermont’s foremost public resource for visual art and material culture. The Museum’s 45-acre campus is comprised of 39 buildings including the Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education and Webb Gallery featuring important American paintings by Andrew Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, John Singleton Copley and many more. For more information, please visit shelburnemuseum.org.