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The Connecticut River Valley region stretches from northern New Hampshire to Long Island Sound. The area including Deerfield, Massachusetts, south to Old Saybrook, Connecticut, was an important center for needlework. Taught by skilled instructresses, young women in fashionable academies and smaller day schools mastered the art of needlework and painting, beginning with elementary samplers and advancing to canvaswork in the eighteenth century and to exquisite pictorial silk embroideries and detailed watercolors on paper and silk at the turn of the nineteenth century. The finished pieces demonstrated the young women’s accomplishments in the “polite arts” and displayed the gentility and social status of their families.

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