Hatched, Matched, Dispatched and Patched

American Museum in Britain

14 March – 1 November 2015

2-for-1 with National Art Pass (standard entry £10)

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A display of textiles made in response to births, marriages and deaths.

This exhibition explores how textile has been used to celebrate, document, grieve and commemorate key family milestones. As well as typical embroidered pieces, there are also examples of outfits that have been worn to mark such occasions – from homemade christening robes to heavily beaded mourning attire.

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A particularly poignant piece is a 1945 tablecloth embroidered with the names of friends of an American soldier who took part in the D-Day landings. His British fiancée stopped working on the cloth when she heard that he had died in combat and the stitched decoration remains unfinished, the needle still pinned to the cloth.

It is joined by a wedding dress from 1887 worn by Agnes Lucy Hughes, the first mother-in-law of Wallis Simpson – the American socialite who almost brought down the British monarchy.

Venue information

Opening times


17 March – 28 October 

Tues – Sun 10.00am – 5.00pm. Last admission at 4.00pm

Closed Mondays except during August and Bank Holidays.


"Art Fund" is the operating name of the National Art Collections Fund, a charity registered in England and Wales (209174) and Scotland (SC038331)