Didn't you just love the embroideries from my last post? The work these women did just amazes me!
There were two sisters who were instrumental in the development of the Art and Needlework Department.
At the young age of 13, the first sister, Willibalda Scherbauer, received a scholarship from King Ludwig to learn embroidery. This was quite an honor. She later graduated from the Royal Art School in Munich. As you might suspect, this love of embroidery carried through when she found her way to St. Joseph!
The second sister who was instrumental in the development of the embroideries was Justina Knapp. She wrote a book, Christian Symbols and How to Use Them, that is still available on Amazon. She worked for 60 years in the ecclesiastical art department and was instrumental in obtaining over 500 volumes for the library. Many of these books are out of print.
One of her rules for the sisters who were embroidering was they must take a break every 45 minutes and set their eyes upon something else. She also brought in guests who would teach on various topics such as color. She understood that these embroideries were works of art, an expression of their love for God. She was named one of six women who most influenced artistic development in the state of Minnesota!
There is a nice article about the embroideries and Justina Knapp at this link. Scroll down in the PDF file to pages 8-13.
In addition to the ecclesiastical pieces, the sisters also embroidered for friends and family. Below are several examples. Be sure to click on them to get them full screen, and then click again to enlarge the photo so you can see the detail.
Don't you agree that they are lovely? One of the sisters told us that sometimes these were given to people who would see their lovely work and provide more embroidery materials for the sisters. Wonder if that would work for us today?
I still have more to show you so expect one more post on our trip!