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Embroidered Garment

ca. 1949 Alice Eugenia Ligon Born: Missouri 1886 Died: Fulton, Missouri 1959 embroidered muslin, cotton crochet; pencil; cotton rick-rack trim 43 3/4 x 38 1/2 in. (111.1 x 97.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. 1989.78.2 Not currently on view

Gallery Label

For many folk artists, life-changing events such as death, injury, or disease that affects the family may trigger a period of great creativity. According to the embroidered inscription, Ligon created this dress as a Christmas gift for her children while she was a patient at Fulton State Hospital. She was hospitalized there in 1949 and 1953 for an unspecified condition. Ligon enjoyed sewing, crocheting, and quilting, but this garment; this gown, probably her first hospital gown or uniform, shows her remarkable skill. She crocheted the hem and sleeves and used every available inch of cloth to embroider religious, patriotic, popular, and personal portraits, vignettes, and inscriptions.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006


Allegory - life

Animal - bird - peacock

Figure group

History - United States - discovery of United States

Object - flower

Object - written matter

Religion - New Testament - shepherd

decorative arts - fiber

folk art

fabric - cotton

fabric - muslin

fabric - thread


About Alice Eugenia Ligon

Born: Missouri 1886 Died: Fulton, Missouri 1959