Featured Object

In each issue, the bimonthly DAR magazine, American Spirit, highlights an object from the DAR Museum collection in its "National Treasures" feature. These objects, often recent accessions or important pieces in the current exhibit, always have a story to tell about American history.

National Treasures

Sister Stitch

Two young sisters’ charming needlework samplers stitched more than 200 years ago share a home at the DAR Museum. In 1997 the Museum purchased a canvas needlework picture made in Philadelphia and signed “Mary Gray June the 6th 1775.” This small floral still life joined a sampler made by Mary’s sister, Martha, dated “June ye 7th 1779,” and held in the Museum collection for almost 60 years.

Both young girls filled their canvas with double-handled bowls overflowing with tulips, jonquils, roses, carnations and irises. Eleven-year-old Mary’s needlework is more polished than Martha’s example, stitched when she was only 8 years old. Their efforts were most likely patterned after an identical source, perhaps the work of their sister, Elizabeth Coultas Gray. In the classic 1921 volume American Samplers by Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eva Johnston Coe, Elizabeth’s work was described as “Design, bunch of flowers in basket, fills entire sampler.”

The sisters were daughters of prominent and patriotic parents, Martha Ibbetson and George Gray. George was a member and speaker of the Philadelphia General Assembly and author of The Treason Resolutions.

American Spirit, Volume 142, Number 2, March/April 2008, Page 7
Photos by Mark Gulezian/QuickSilver

More National Treasures

Sitting Pretty

To the Rescue

Strange Brew

Tayloe Family Ties

Ornamental Trio

Reviving the Stone

A Record to Remember

Strong Set

Fashion Flashback

Let's Go Ride a Bike


Isn't It Romantic

A Rockin' Good Toy

The Mystery of Mother and Child

Keep Cool

Dress for the Ages

Historical Register

Banjo Time

Getting Warmer

Virginia Map Quest

Serve It Up

Greatest Toy on Earth

Dress for the Day

Boston Uncommon

A Teapot to Revere

Seats of Honor

Birthday Threads


Play On

Top Drawer

Burning Bright

Seated in Revolution

Something to Crow About

Tea Time

Capturing Cherubs

A Link to the Past

Brushes with Fame

Something Borrowed

Supper Is Served

Stately Seats

Heirloom High Chest

Making Beautiful Music

Forged From Fire

For Madame's Trousseau

Let It Out

Heavenly Harmonies

Priceless Pooch

DAR Coffee Table Book

Click here for information on how to order

For details and how to purchase
American Treasure: The Enduring Spirit
of the DAR
click here

Look Inside DAR

Click here to view slideshow

View Building
Photo Gallery