Isabella Rosner

We’re delighted to welcome Isabella Rosner to Placecloud as a new expert. In June 2021 she’ll be publishing a series of viewpoints on places in London associated with history of the Quakers.

Isabella is currently preparing viewpoints on the first Quaker schools, in Shacklewell and at Waltham Abbey, and Quaker meeting houses in the City of London. The famous Bunhill Fields (where Placecloud’s patron saint William Blake is buried). The gritty sounding Gravel Pit Chapel, home to a nonconformist congregation. And there’s Palestine Place, a Christian Organisation in Bethnal Green set up to convert the East End’s Jewish population. Isabella will be publishing 10 viewpoints in total. We can’t wait.

Isabella is an art historian who studies material culture from the seventeenth through nineteenth century. She’s an expert in the study of early modern women’s needlework, especially British examples, and schoolgirl samplers across all time periods. She’s a second year PhD student at King’s College London, where she studies Quaker women’s needle, shell, and wax work before 1800. For her PhD, Isabella is focusing on seventeenth-century needlework made by Quaker girls in and around London and eighteenth-century wax and shellwork made by Quaker girls and women in Philadelphia.

Isabella is working towards becoming a textile curator after completing her PhD, a dream sparked by her internships and positions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Fitzwilliam Museum, and Colonial Williamsburg. Her passion for making historic objects accessible to all led her to create Sew What?, a podcast about historic needlework and those who stitched it. Isabella writes, directs, produces, and hosts the podcast, which has thus far had 25 episodes including discussions about beadwork, mourning hairwork, schoolgirl samplers, and interviews with textile historians, makers, researchers, and museum professionals.

In addition to her PhD and podcast work, Isabella runs a successful Twitter account dedicated to her research and objects of interest and an Instagram account celebrating embroidery from all regions and time periods.

Isabella’s work appears in print often, having been published by Textile HistoryArt Herstory, and the Costume Society’s blog among other publications. She has spoken virtually and in-person at venues including but not limited to the Royal School of Needlework, Edinburgh College of Art, and the Woodbrooke Study Centre.

Isabella is a member of the Textile Society (UK), Textile Society of America, Costume Society of America, Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture, and the Decorative Arts Trust. She is a 2020-2022 Costume Society (UK) Ambassador.

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