John Macpherson Berrien Award and Lilla M. Hawes Award Presentations

Friday, Oct 21, 2016

The Georgia Historical Society
cordially invites you to the presentations of

The John Macpherson Berrien Award
for Lifetime Achievement


Dr. John C. Inscoe
The Albert B. Saye Professor of History and
University Professor at the University of Georgia


The Lilla M. Hawes Award
for the Best Book in Georgia County or Local History


Ashley Callahan


the University of Georgia Press


Southern Tufts: The Regional Origins and National
Craze for Chenille Fashion

Friday, October 21 at 10:00 A.M.

University of Georgia Main Library
3rd Floor Reading Room
320 S. Jackson Street, Athens, GA 30602
Parking available in the North Campus Parking Deck

Reception hosted by the University of Georgia Press and the
University of Georgia History Department

For more information, please contact Patricia Meagher at or 912-651-2125, ext. 153.

The Berrien Award is given for a lifetime of achievement in and service to Georgia history. This merit-based award is given at the discretion of the Georgia Historical Society. The award was established in 2000 and named in honor of John Macpherson Berrien, one of the founders of GHS and the Society’s first president. He also served in the U.S. Senate and as Attorney General.

John Inscoe has taught at the University of Georgia for 32 years. He is the author of four books, editor of ten others, and writer of 46 articles, essays, and book chapters. His books include Mountain Masters: Slavery and the Sectional Crisis in Western North Carolina; Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian SouthWriting the Southern through the Self: Explorations in Southern Autobiography, and The Heart of Confederate Appalachia: The Civil War in Western North Carolina (co-author). He has served as the the editor of the on-line New Georgia Encyclopedia since 1999.  He edited the Georgia Historical Quarterly for eleven years and and served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Historical Association from 2000 through 2014.

The Lilla M. Hawes Award is given for the best book in Georgia county or local history published in the previous year.  This year, it is presented to author Ashley Callahan and the University of Georgia Press (publisher) for Southern Tufts: The Regional Origins and National Craze for Chenille Fashion.

 Southern Tufts is the first book to highlight the garments produced by northwestern Georgia’s tufted textile industry. Though best known now for its production of carpet, in the early twentieth century the region was revered for its handtufted candlewick bedspreads, products that grew out of the Southern Appalachian Craft Revival and appealed to the vogue for Colonial Revival–style household goods. Soon after the bedspreads became popular, enterprising women began creating hand-tufted garments, including candlewick kimonos in the 1920s and candlewick dresses in the early 1930s. By the late 1930s, large companies offered machine-produced chenille beach capes, jackets, and robes. In the 1940s and 1950s, chenille robes became an American fashion staple. At the end of the century, interest in chenille fashion revived, fueled by nostalgia and an interest in recycling vintage materials.

Chenille bedspreads, bathrobes, and accessories hung for sale both in roadside souvenir shops, especially along the Dixie Highway, and in department stores all over the nation. Callahan tells the story of chenille fashion and its connections to stylistic trends, automobile tourism, industrial developments, and U.S. history. The well-researched and heavily illustrated text presents a broad history of tufted textiles, as well as sections highlighting individual craftspeople and manufacturers involved with the production of chenille fashion.