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Looking back, Candace was convinced their farm had been a stop on the underground railroad.

Candace attended an "infant school" where at age six she stitched her first sampler. Around age 11 or 12, Candace began attending Delaware Academy in Delhi. Within a year, they married.


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Eventually, the couple had four children. In , Wheeler visited the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. She was deeply impressed by the Royal School of Art Needlework's display.

Candace Wheeler Interior Design | Great Northern Catskills of Greene County

But it was not the artistry of the needlework that inspired Wheeler. She was interested in needlework as a woman-run business that benefited women. While still in Philadelphia, Wheeler conceived of an American version of the Royal School that would include "all articles of feminine manufacture.

Years later, in a letter to her niece, Wheeler described herself as "jumping at the possibility of work for the army of helpless women of N. The Society was meant to help women support themselves through handicrafts such as needlework, sewing, and other decorative arts.

The Mother of American Interior Design

The Society had a special focus on the thousands of women who were left indigent at the end of the Civil War. Wheeler called on prominent New York society matrons to support a shop in which the high-quality, custom-made goods could be sold to produce income. The Society had five hundred subscribers within three years.

Wheeler helped to start related societies in Chicago, St.

Wheeler, Candace 1827-1923

In , Wheeler helped launch the New York Exchange for Women's Work, where women could sell any product that they could manufacture at home, including baked goods and household linens. This new enterprise served a broader range of women as no artistic skills were required. The Exchange opened in March with a consignment sale of thirty items at the home of Exchange co-founder Mary Choate.

In April, the exchange moved to a rented facility and by May it as successful enough to employ to part-time sales women. By , there were at least seventy-two Exchanges across the United States. In , Wheeler formed her own textile firm under the name Associated Artists.

Works of Candace Wheeler

The firm produced a wide range of textile goods including tapestries and curtains. In , Wheeler resigned from the Society of Decorative Arts. In , Wheeler formed her own textile firm, involving by women only, under the name Associated Artists. Woven out of two threads, these fabrics changed color depending on the light. Wealthy customers could create custom fabrics. Andrew Carnegie commissioned a Scotch thistle damask for his own use.

At the same time, Wheeler took care to make sure that her products were available to a wide audience by creating machine-ready patterns and reflecting American designs and local plant forms. Associated Artists's signature tapestry style was a combination of loom and tapestry weaving that Wheeler had invented. In [4] , In coordination with her husband and brother, [11] Wheeler founded an artist colony in the Catskill Mountains called Onteora. In , at the age of 66, Wheeler was asked to serve as the interior decorator of the Woman's Building at the Chicago World's Fair , and to organize the State of New York's applied arts exhibition there.

The building was filled with exhibitions of women's fine arts, crafts, industrial products and regional and ethnic specialties from around the world.

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Panels lined the grand rotunda of the Woman's Building listing ''golden names of women who in past and present centuries have done honor to the human race,'' a roll-call echoed in the names on the floor of Judy Chicago 's '' The Dinner Party. Wheeler spent much of her later life writing books and articles on decorating and the textile arts, as well as fiction.

Wheeler died on August 5, at the age of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Candace Wheeler. Delhi , New York , United States. The New York Times. Retrieved 13 May Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Encyclopedia of Interior Design. University of Illinois Press. Retrieved Candace Wheeler Tells of Its Development. Retrieved 14 May Leland O. Yale University Press. Cott; Nancy F.