Embroidered Garment

Media - 1989.78.2 - SAAM-1989.78.2_1 - 10815
Copied Alice Eugenia Ligon, Embroidered Garment, ca. 1949, embroidered muslin, cotton crochet; pencil; cotton rick-rack trim, 43 3438 12 in. (111.197.8 cm.), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1989.78.2

Artwork Details

Embroidered Garment
ca. 1949
Not on view
43 3438 12 in. (111.197.8 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
Mediums Description
embroidered muslin, cotton crochet; pencil; cotton rick-rack trim
  • Object — written matter
  • Object — flower
  • Religion — New Testament — shepherd
  • History — United States — discovery of United States
  • Animal — bird — peacock
  • Figure group
  • Religion — Old Testament — Eve
  • Religion — Old Testament — Adam
  • Landscape — tree
  • Animal
  • Allegory — life
Object Number

Artwork Description

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


Media - 2019.15 - SAAM-2019.15_1 - 137377
Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women
May 31, 2024January 5, 2025
The artists in Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women mastered and subverted the everyday materials of cotton, felt, and wool to create deeply personal artworks.