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Arts / Entertainment

Avenir hosts historic lace workshop

June 23, 2009

For those who share an interest in the beauty and intrigue of lace, a recent workshop at the Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising was an opportunity to see a rare collection owned by the Avenir.

Fabric delicacies, masterfully made 

The Ruth Payne Hellmann Lace Collection is valued at more than $141,000 and consists of more than 3,000 lace samples, 300 books and 900 tools. The collection also includes examples of multiple types of bobbins, needles, embroidery and crocheted and knitted lace.
(At right and below: Lace from the Ruth Payne Hellman collection)

Nancy Evans, lace expert

Participants at the June 13 and 14 workshop were able to study and identify the 18th and 19th century lace from the Hellmann Collection. 

Nancy Evans, a lace expert from Covington, Wash., led the workshop which was held at Colorado State's Avenir Museum of Design and Merchandising. Ms. Evans is a lace dealer and teacher, and has served on the Executive Board of International Old Lacers, Inc. Evans brought examples of 15th, 16th, and 17th century lace with her. Over three hundred pieces of lace from her personal collection were available for study.  

Workshop participants from Colorado and New Mexico

Fourteen lacemakers from Colorado and New Mexico gathered at the Avenir Museum of Design & Merchandising for the two-day workshop on lace identification. The workshop was sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild.

Participants in the workshop learned the history of lace and lace making, the role of lace in society, and the identifying characteristics of lace from the 16th through the early 20th century. 

Chemist, librarian, and old lacer

Ruth Hellmann, who bequeathed her collection to the Avenir Museum, had a successful career as a chemist and science librarian, but her lifelong passion was for lace and lace making. Hellmann's lace making talents were recognized nationally, and she received several awards for design and execution of her pieces.

She volunteered for many years as the assistant to the curator of the textiles department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

She was responsible for identifying, cataloging and arranging the lace in the museum's collection, one of the largest lace collections in the world.

Contact: Jo Ann Eurell
Phone: (970) 631-3765