This Christmas season has been wonderfully busy at the McCarl Coverlet Gallery! Read below to find out what we have been working on the past few weeks.
As part of our mission to serve the community, we held a Holiday Blanket Drive to benefit those in need throughout Westmoreland County. Thanks to your generous contributions, we collected over 100 new and gently used blankets to donate to families this Christmas. We hope to make this an annual event for our community!
Why did we choose to collect blankets? The answer is simple. Our gallery houses over 400 authentic coverlets from the early 19th century. These intricately woven bed coverings kept families warm during cold winter months, when coal burners and fire places acted as the only heat source in most homes. Used as the outermost covering on a bed, coverlets locked out drafts and acted as a barrier against the cold during long winter nights.
If you pick up a coverlet, you might be surprised by how heavy and thick they are. Durable and made to last, coverlets served a very important part in early American life, helping families survive brutal winters and remain close-knit with each other.
For these reasons, the American coverlet symbolizes both family and warmth– two important things that we want to share with our community during the holiday season. By collecting blankets for those who are less fortunate, we hope to spread the Christmas spirit along with the family values that we cultivate here in the gallery.
We proudly partnered with the Saint Vincent College Art Club, members of the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, the Office of Campus Ministry, and the Office of Service Learning to make this blanket drive happen. The various students and administrators did a great job making blankets, collecting donations, and buying blankets for the event. We are thrilled with the turn out and thankful for all of the contributions we received!
While donation boxes were filling with blankets, the gallery staff was busy at work crafting homemade Christmas ornaments to decorate the gallery. Foam balls acted as the foundation of the ornaments, and they were creatively decorated with glitter and newspaper to go along with the current gallery theme AD: Advertisements and Designs of 19th Century Coverlet Weavers. The gallery was also decorated with festive garland and a Christmas tree to welcome all of our holiday guests.
We wish you a safe and happy holiday season! Do not forget to stop and appreciate all of the beauty around you during this busy time.
“We make a living by what we get.
We make a life by what we give.”
Happy Holidays! From the McCarl Gallery Staff