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"Our girls,” Dan and Marty Campanelli call them. Each girl was a sampler embroiderer, mostly in the early 1800s, along the East Coast. Each one now has her own biographical research binder on shelves at the Campanellis’ farm in western New Jersey. The couple have spent a decade tracing the sewers’ genealogies and identifying the stitched scenery.

  • Framed textiles cover walls throughout the 1760s stone farmhouse, and the drapes are kept tightly drawn to prevent sun damage. The Campanellis are largely retired; she was a graphic designer, and he still paints watercolors occasionally. On most mornings, after tending their sheep, chickens, vegetable gardens and orchard, they drive off to research. They make the rounds of archives, historical societies, museums, cemeteries and the files of the samplers specialty dealers M. Finkel & Daughter in Philadelphia and Stephen and Carol Huber in Old Saybrook, Conn. 

Read More: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/arts/design/collectors-of-girls-s...

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