Gertie Copening at Hindsville (Madison County), 1940s. Jim Vaughan Collection (S-96-126-3)

Donated by Jim Vaughan

This decorative frame belong to Gertie Copening (1881-1962) of Hindsville (Madison County). The message on the postcard in the frame reads, “May Christmas peace keep winter from the heart.”

The frame is an example of Iroquois raised beadwork, a tradition originated by the Iroquois in western New York in the late 1700s. The beadwork became popular in the 1800s, when frames, pincushions, needle cases, and other items were sold as souvenirs and keepsakes at fairs, exhibitions, Wild West shows, and other venues. Contemporary artists continue this tradition of beadwork today.