1926 James Cunningham's Appliqued Pillowcases


This is one of two matching appliqued pillowcases and a bedcover that were made in China in the 1920s. Rev. Alexander Cunningham, a Presbyterian minister in China at the time, sent them to the United States on the birth of his nephew, James Cunningham, in 1926. Both pillowcases are white with a single blue square at each end. On either side of each blue square is a figure of a boy with a ball, a bird, a cat, and a dog; all are made of overlapping blue circles.

Alexander Cunningham was born March 13, 1861, in Murrayville, Illinois. He graduated from Illinois State Normal University in 1887 and McCormick Theological Seminary in 1890. In that same year he married Mary E. Neely, and they left for China to become missionaries. Assigned to the Presbyterian North China Mission, they were active missionaries in China from 1890 to 1933, and after retirement continued to live in China until 1940. After fifty years as missionaries, they returned to California on the eve of World War II. Alexander Cunningham died in Los Angeles, California, on September 20, 1943. This appliqu├ęd pillowcase with the matching bedcover may be the product of a mission where Rev. Alexander Cunningham served.

Date Made: 1926

Quilter: unknown

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: China

Subject: QuiltingChildrenChinese


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, Textiles, Domestic Furnishings, Quilts


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Nancy Cunningham MacDonald

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0676.02Catalog Number: 1986.0676.02Accession Number: 1986.0676

Object Name: pillowcase, quiltedpillowcaseObject Type: quilts

Physical Description: fabric, cotton (overall material)thread, cotton (overall material)Measurements: overall: 21 in x 16 in; 52 cm x 39 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a3-c75f-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_556206

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