Katherine Knight: 'Dare to do Right' Caribou Motto #035, 2012, photography, 11 x 24"
“Forget Me Not”
Caribou Motto #086
“Dare TO DO RIGHT”
Caribou Motto #035
“Peace be Still”
Caribou Motto #083
“KINDNESS MAKES friends”
Caribou Motto #084
“Knowledge is Power”
Caribou Motto #048
“DO RIGHT AND FEAR NOT”
Caribou Motto #133
For thirty years beginning the 1970’s, Jane Webster collected Victorian era needlepoint mottos, which she displayed throughout her guesthouse in Caribou Harbour, Nova Scotia.
The nearly 170 framed mottos were hung each spring and taken down each fall; each went back up in its own place every year, with a numbering system marked discreetly on the walls. The unique origins of each motto are unknown; however, they are each the product of a Victorian-era craze for mass-produced, pre-printed “Berlin work” designs. The preferences, capacities, and idiosyncrasies of the women whose nimble hands stitched these canvases are visible throughout the collection.
In 2007, photographer Katherine Knight began a project to document the collection and the house in collaboration with her neighbour Jane Webster.
A searchable database of all mottos is available here - www.cariboumottos.ca
Thank you to the Webster and Willwerth families for access to this collection.
This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.