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Portrait of a Woman in SilkHidden Histories of the British Atlantic World$
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Zara Anishanslin

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197051

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197051.001.0001

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Industry, Idleness, and Protest

Industry, Idleness, and Protest

The Spitalfields Weaver as Guild Member and Cultural Symbol

Chapter:
(p.124) 6. Industry, Idleness, and Protest
Source:
Portrait of a Woman in Silk
Author(s):

Zara Anishanslin

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300197051.003.0008

This chapter focuses on the work of London artist William Hogarth. His print series Industry and Idleness, a twelve-print moral satire about Spitalfields weavers, was the best-selling of all British prints in the North American colonies. The series offers additional insight into the life and times of weaver Simon Julins. Given that the colonial North Americans who purchased this series were also the leading import market for Spitalfields silks, Americans who bought or saw Hogarth's prints would have been well acquainted with both Spitalfields and the products of its looms. Hogarth's use of Spitalfields weavers for his Industry and Idleness series allowed him to capture a place and industry with cultural resonance on both sides of the Atlantic. Situating Julins within the context of Hogarth's series shows that weavers like Julins should be understood as part of a transatlantic tale—a story dictated as much by colonial consumers and the imperial marketplace as by the realities of the metropole.

Keywords:   master weavers, Simon Julins, silk weaving industry, William Hogarth, prints, Spiralfields, Industry and Idleness

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