Scholar To Analyze How Production And Consumption Of Goods Tied A Community, An Empire Together

Quarterly Series Continues With University Of Delaware's Dr. Zara Anishanslin's Latest Book

March 8, 2019

The second installment of LancasterHistory’s new artifact-focused programming series, the Material Culture Forum, will be on Thursday, March 28. LancasterHistory curatorial staff will present an in-depth object study of Lancaster County portraiture and clothing, followed by a presentation by Zara Anishanslin, Ph.D., who will lecture about her book, “Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic World.”
At 4 p.m., LancasterHistory assistant curator Tori Pyle will present a close look and conversation about the ways in which portraiture and textiles interact, using objects from the LancasterHistory collections.
At 4:30 p.m., special guest Dr. Zara Anishanslin will give a presentation and discussion of “Portrait of a Woman in Silk.”
Through the story of a portrait of a woman in a silk dress, Anishanslin embarks on a fascinating journey, exploring and refining debates about the cultural history of the 18th-century British Atlantic world. While most scholarship on commodities focuses either on labor and production or on consumption and use, Anishanslin unifies both, examining the worlds of four identifiable people who produced, wore, and represented this object: a London weaver, one of early modern Britain’s few women silk designers, a Philadelphia merchant’s wife, and a New England painter. Anishanslin is assistant professor of history and art history at the University of Delaware.
About the Event
The Material Culture Forum is a quarterly series designed to lead small groups in an exploration of history through objects. At 4 p.m., curatorial staff will offer white glove object studies using highlights from the collections; at 4:30 p.m., guest scholars and lecturers will discuss new research related to our regional history and its material culture, the objects and architecture that surround Lancastrians. Scholars, decorative arts enthusiasts, and curious learners are all welcome to attend this enriching program. Attend all four Material Culture Forums throughout the year or choose just a few of particular interest. Water bottles and note paper will be provided.
The forum, “A Portrait of a Woman in Silk,” takes place March 28 at 4 p.m. at LancasterHistory, 230 N. President Ave. in Lancaster, Pa. Tickets are $15 for LancasterHistory members and $25 for nonmembers. To become a member or renew, visit To register, call 717-392-4633. Sellout is likely; early, advance registration is highly recommended. Questions and accessibility requests may be directed to or 717-392-4633.


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