banner, award

banner, award

Usage conditions apply
China painting, the decoration of plain porcelain blanks, was a popular and sometimes lucrative pastime for many American women in the late 19th century and into the 20th century. While some women painted china for enjoyment and artistic fulfillment, others earned a living selling their decorated wares and teaching the art of china painting.
This silk award banner was given to sisters Mary and Emily Healey at the 1893 Chicago World's Columbian Exposition in recognition of their Decorated Porcelain. The Healey sisters were two of thousands of American women china painters; they stand out because they, unlike many female china-painters, won public recognition and financial reward for their work.
According to family history, the Healey sisters moved to Washington, DC looking for employment sometime after the Civil War. Emily was interested in chemistry and developed a formula for a gold-colored application that would adhere to glazed porcelain blanks. Family descendants believe that Emily worked in the lab while Mary ran the business end of their growing china painting concern. The Healey won numerous awards and much recognition for their gold-covered "Chryso-Ceramics."
Currently not on view
Object Name
banner, award
Date made
associated dates
1893 / 1893
1893 / 1893
Conkey, W.B. Company
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
silk (overall material)
brocade (overall material)
metallic fringe (overall material)
average spatial: 4 1/4 in x 18 3/8 in; x 10.795 cm x 46.6598 cm
overall: 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in x 18 9/16 in;.635 cm x 10.795 cm x 47.14875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Captain Guy E. Hearn
China Painting
Worlds Fair
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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