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Embroidered War between Mary, Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I Is Subject of UMaine Museum Talk

Contact: Patty Henner, 581-4100; George Manlove, 581-3756

ORONO — “Subversive Stitches: the embroidered war between Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I” is the subject of a special lunch-time lecture Feb. 22 at the Page Farm and home Museum at the University of Maine.

Michele Goldman, sociologist and needleworker, will present the talk. The public is invited to the free event. Guests are invited to bring a bag lunch.

Goldman will explore how the two monarchs expressed their animosity toward one another through needlework. Of particular interest is the needlework created by Mary, Queen of Scots while in jail awaiting execution at the hand of England’s Elizabeth I. Mary Stuart, though Queen of Scotland, had a bloodline interest in the English throne, which was occupied by her more powerful cousin Elizabeth I. After years of animosity between the two and particular distrust of Mary by Elizabeth, Mary Stuart ultimately was convicted of treason and beheaded.

In her days awaiting execution, Mary created artful and historically symbolic embroidery. Both Mary and Elizabeth were needlework and embroidery enthusiasts. Goldman will have photographs of some of the needlework.

Goldman has been doing needlework for 39 years, professionally and as a means of artistic expression. She owns and operates her own needlework and knitting store, Fiberphilia on Mill Street in Orono, and is past president of one of the largest chapters of the Embroiderers Guild of America, the Constellation Chapter in Baltimore.

Goldman began studying the history of embroidery when she discovered ornate embroideries could be purchased for little or nothing from second-hand shops. She has studied both embroideries and the women who produced them with some of the best scholars on the subject in the world.

More information is available by calling the Page Farm and Home Museum at 581-4100 or Michele Goldman at 866-3423.

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