Tulips panel

Designer: Candace Wheeler (American, Delhi, New York 1827–1923 New York)

Maker: Associated Artists (1883–1907)

Manufacturer: Ground fabric by Cheney Brothers (American, 1838–1955)

Date: 1883–87

Geography: Made in New York, New York, United States

Culture: American

Medium: Silk and metallic cloth appliqued with silk velvet and embroidered with silk and metallic-wrapped cotton threads

Dimensions: 74 x 50 1/2 in. (188 x 128.3 cm)

Classification: Textiles

Credit Line: Gift of the family of Mrs. Candace Wheeler, 1928

Accession Number: 28.34.2


One of the most luxurious of Wheeler's textiles, this unfinished panel was undoubtedly meant to be the central section of a larger portiere or curtain. The full-blown pink silk velvet tulips that form the swirling pattern have all been applied to the cloth-of-gold ground, but the detailed embroidery within many of the flowers and the couching stitch edging on the leaves has not been completed. The panel is one of the few remaining examples of Wheeler's work in the appliqué technique, although she used the method for many of her large-scale projects, such as the Madison Square Theatre stage curtains. Appliqué work could be completed relatively quickly and at a substantially lower cost than labor-intensive hand embroidery, and Wheeler prized its ability to create a strong visual impact when she was designing for large spaces.