3rd Thursday


3rd Thursday at Hoover’s

Programs brought to you by West Branch Public Library in partnership with the Hoover Presidential Foundation!


Spotlight on the Famous Flour Sacks

December 15, 2022 NOON live via Zoom
*This program will include a live presentation from The Netherlands, so it streams at noon instead of the normal time!

Registration includes a replay of the live presentation at 6:00pm, but we would like to encourage you to join the original live broadcast if possible!

Please register here to receive a link to the webinar

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum’s entire collection of decorated Belgian Relief flour sacks from World War I was subjected to a close examination in June 2022.

Annelien van Kempen, visiting researcher from The Netherlands, and Marcus Eckhardt, Hoover Presidential Museum curator, studied every detail and counted 360 items in this unique survey of war-time American and Canadian flour sacks, decorated by Belgian schoolgirls, women and artists, mainly in 1915.

They will present what they discovered in their fascinating two-week search in this episode. They share their insights in both the great variety and similarity in sacks, school-projects, flour residues in dresses, patriotic patterns in the embroidery and needlework and delicate lace edges.

They’ll reveal the identity of Belgian schoolgirls who painted and embroidered the sacks. Special attention will be given to paintings of emerging -now famous- Belgian artists and exquisite embroideries, including the “Rooster on the Oak Branch” flour sack from Antwerp that was presented in a manifestation of gratitude to Mr. Herbert Hoover in August 1916.

Since June, new WWI decorated flour sacks have come into the museum’s collection, showing there are many more waiting to be discovered!