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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed March 2 through May 18 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned during this time. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Iris Cross-Stitch

Object Details

Ira Blount
c. 1994
Aida fabric, cotton embroidery floss
11 1/8 × 8 1/4 in. (28.2 × 20.9 cm)
Cite As
Gift of Ira Blount
Purple irises tinged with yellow grow out of a brown bowl in this cross-stitch with a geometric green border. Artist Ira Blount (1918-2020) incorporates the Chinese character, “mei,” which translates to “beauty” to the left of the flowers. This work invokes the conventions of still-life paintings by including a memento mori, a single flower that has fallen off the plant. Viewers are encouraged to consider both the irises’ natural beauty and their transience.
After moving to Washington, DC following World War II, Ira Blount mastered dozens of artisanal crafts. His love for crafting, learning, and community engagement would endure over the course of his long life and career.
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