This is a picture of a tapestry called, “Equality.” It was created in 1976, in time for the
U.S. Bicentennial by the spinners and weavers of the Philadelphia Guild of Hand
Weavers. It was designed by Barbara Baylson, whose winning design was chosen from
a large group of artists. After that came almost two years of dyeing, carding, spinning,
building a large tapestry loom, and ﬁnally weaving the design.
The Tapestry was placed in the tower of the Penn Mutual Building, where it remained for
many years, until Penn Mutual closed the tower and moved to the suburbs.
The tapestry was then moved to the Federal Bank building on April 27, 1984, where it
remained on display in the lobby of the building.
According to PGHW treasurer records, the Fed Building purchased the Tapestry at the
end of 1984. Our guild had already received the payment by January, 1985, as noted in
the PGHW board notes.
We know that on October 3 of 1984 PGHW held a demonstration of weaving and
spinning in the lobby of the Federal Reserve Bank, right in front of the tapestry.
What we donʼt know is what happened after that date!
The entire history of the work was cataloged in a scrapbook by MayBeth Schlegel, the
projectʼs director. Her son, Jonathan presented the guild with her scrapbook
documenting all of the details about the project. He asked the guild what had happened
to his momʼs work. We had to tell him that we had no idea.
Weʼre looking for the tapestry, and weʼre looking for some sharp eyes, and good
memories of members or friends who can help. Are you game? Help us solve this
mystery. I have many details and would love to have some detective help as I try to
unravel the tapestry mystery…. Contact me if you have clues….