The Ascension

By the 1840s a new technique [in the field] of needlepoint known as Berlin wool work was the rage. It arose in Germany at the beginning of the 19th century. New dyes became available and brightly colored wools could be worked in tent stitch on canvas. The patterns were painted by hand on “point paper,” which today would be called graph paper. Jane’s piece is an example of this technique.
This rectangular canvas work piece depicts the Ascension of Jesus. The biblical account is found in Acts 1: 9-11. Jesus is the main figure, upper center. He wears robes and there is a halo or nimbus around his head. Two men and one woman on the ground partially cover their eyes, as if blinded by the light. The faces, hands, and feet are done in petit point. The picture is worked on penelope canvas ground, 14/28 threads per inch, with Berlin wool in tent/half cross stitch. The colors of this piece are vivid.
Jane Elizabeth Loucks was born in 1835 to John and Desdemonia Marsh Loucks in Sharon, New York. She married Joseph Warren Hastings on February 16, 1871, in Manhattan. They moved to Illinois and had one daughter, Dena. See her other pieces; Mary Queen of Scots and The Offering of Isaac.
Currently not on view
Object Name
embroidered picture
date made
associated date
Loucks, Jane Elizabeth
Physical Description
penelope canvas 14/28 (overall material)
worsted wool/silk floss (overall material)
gilded gesso molding (frame) (overall material)
glass (frame) (overall material)
blues (overall color)
browns (overall color)
greens (overall color)
pink (overall color)
gold (overall color)
ivory silk floss (overall color)
berlin woolwork (overall style)
tent and half cross stitches (joint piece production method or technique)
faces, hands and feet are worked in petit point (joint piece production method or technique)
embroidery (overall production method/technique)
average spatial: 19 in x 21 3/4 in; x 48.26 cm x 55.245 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Embroidered Pictures
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Embroidered Pictures
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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