Marý, a visual artist and product designer, opened her exhibition of a “Virtue Blanket” on the Square of the National Museum of Iceland on Thursday, inspired by three cloths of virtue kept at the museum from the early 18th century.
Marý embroidered modern virtues voted upon in a 1999 Gallup poll into her blanket: Faith, patience, optimism, honesty, integrity and ties with friends and family.
The blanket is made from Icelandic wool and the artist used only natural sheep colors. The pattern was inspired from the pattern of one of the 18th century virtue cloths.
The three cloths are believed to have belonged to the daughters of Reverend Hjalti Thorsteinsson (1665-1754) who served in Vatnsfjördur Fjord by Ísafjardardjúp and was one of Iceland’s most significant artists in the 18th century.
The virtue cloths were used as bedspreads and the owner embroidered virtues into it when she was engaged to be married to demonstrate that she was a virtuous bride and would become a model wife.