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'Lace: A Story in Thread'

Augsut 7, 2013

How did lace help authenticate Rembrandt paintings? Which U.S. President favored French laces? How did lace travel in secrecy from one country to another -- and why was there a need for secrecy? The answers to these intriguing questions will be answered in the lecture, 'Lace -- A Story in Thread.'

An example of lace from the Ruth Payne Hellmann collection.Thursday, August 29
7-8 p.m.
University Center for the Arts Annex
Room 136
216 East Lake Street

The mystique of lace

Any artifact that endures for over four hundred years is bound to have a wealth of intriguing stories behind it.

In the Third Thursdays Lecture, "Lace -- A Story in Thread," Jo Ann Eurell, Ph.D., guest curator, lacemaker, and longtime Avenir Museum volunteer, will share stories about the people who originated lace as a fabric art form and how it has evolved over the centuries.

The lecture is being given in conjunction with the exhibition, "The Intricate Web: Lacemaking, Trade and Tradition," at the Avenir Museum, open through May 16, 2014.

  • An opening reception for the exhibition will be held at 8 p.m., immediately following Eurell's lecture
  • The exhibition opens in the Avenir Museum on Friday, August 30 at 11 a.m.

The history and making of lace

Eurell has made, collected, and studied lace for over thirty years.

"Along the way," she said, "I've discovered many fascinating stories about the people and the fabric of lace. I'll share these rich and varied stories of lace and lace history in my talk.  

"I'll explain how lace is made, beginning with the handmade laces of the 16th century to the modern machine-made laces of today. I'll talk about the various lacemaking techniques, including embroidery, bobbin lace, needle lace, crochet, tatting, and knitting."

The exhibition

"The Intricate Web" exhibition offers an opportunity to see a unique collection of lace textiles, garments and tools from the Avenir Museum’s internationally renowned Hellmann lace collection.

Rare examples of 16th through 18th century lace will be featured alongside handmade and machine-made lace from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The exhibition will trace the history and tradition of lace as a textile embellishment and trade commodity, with a focus on traditional lacemaking techniques, the history and importance of lace in the European and North American textile trade, and use in historic and contemporary fashion.

Contact: Megan Osborne and Susan Torntore