Sea Beast

In the 20th century, women’s hobbies included embroidery techniques such as needlepoint and crewel.
This rectangular canvas work depicts a "Sea Beast." Thirty-seven kneeling sea creatures with fishlike tails are on the shore, with a three-spired pavilion with sea horse banners on each spire. There is a sea beast's head and two more sections of his serpent-like body rising from the waters. At the top upper right are the initials EBR 1935. The ground is cotton canvas. The threads are tapestry wool in shades of brown from beige to chocolate and the stitches are half cross and tent.
According to a family member, “Sea Beast” is based upon a painting made by a friend of Eleanor’s who was a medium.
Eleanor Butler Alexander was born on December 26, 1888, in New York City to Henry and Grace Green Alexander. She married Theodore Roosevelt II on June 20, 1910. They had four children: Grace, Theodore III, Cornelius V. S., and Quentin. She died on May 29, 1960, in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York.
Currently not on view
Object Name
embroidery, picture
date made
Roosevelt, Eleanor Butler Alexander
Physical Description
cotton (ground material)
wool (thread material)
overall: 25 1/4 in x 36 in; 64.135 cm x 91.44 cm
place made
United States: New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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
Credit Line
Gift of Mr and Mrs. Sidney de la Rue

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