Join us for a talk with Mount Vernon curator Amanda Issac, where she will discuss the making, use, and later history of the Martha Washington shell cushions, some of the best preserved examples of Mrs. Washington’s needlework. Woodlawn has recently acquired one of these cushions, which will be on display at this year's Needlework show. This cushion, completed when Washington was 70 years old, was one of the last she produced before her passing in 1802.
These vibrant displays of Washington’s needlework were passed along to her children and grandchildren. This cushion was signed by her granddaughter, Eleanor “Nelly” Custis Lewis, who also inherited Washington’s love of and talent for elegant needlepoint, memorialized by Woodlawn’s ‘Nelly’s Needlers’.
Amanda is currently the Associate Curator of Fine and Decorative Arts at Mount Vernon, and she works with the collections including the displays in the Mansion and in the museum. She holds an M.A in Material Culture from the University of Delaware and a B.A in History The College of William and Mary.