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Portrait of a Woman in Silk

Zara Anashanslin
Published on: September 20, 2016

Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic World.

Through the story of a portrait of a woman in a silk dress, historian Zara Anishanslin embarks on a fascinating journey, exploring and refining debates about the cultural history of the eighteenth-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.

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Map background Ratzer, Bernard "Province of New Jersey" (map) courtesy Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark Delaware.