Contents in This Month's Issue
This month, we'll be officially unveiling our beautiful new show, Transcending Fashion: The Lace Accessory.
It's located on the ground floor in our south gallery. All are welcome to the opening event on Friday, November 17, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM. Come and view this absolutely staggering floor-to-ceiling display of collars, cuffs, ties, jabots, handkerchiefs, and more! Many of them are 19th-century items from all over the world, intricately handmade and representing a wide array of different lace-making techniques.
After the 17th, during business hours you can view Transcending Fashion with a tour by appointment. Read on to find out what it's all about, and for more details about seeing this exciting display of lace accessories!
Thank you to everyone who came to this very special event! We all learned so much about the astonishing history of the little-known Orphan Train "welfare program" of the 19th century, and were inspired by the story of Julia's incredible genealogical research journey.
And a huge thank you to all of you who wore such fabulous and creative mourning outfits! We can never resist the opportunity to dress up at Lacis Museum, and the season of Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos was the perfect time for us to encounter a story like The Bereaved, and think about our ancestors.
Former manager and fearless leader, Kij Greenwood — magnificently attired, as always — kindly returned to Lacis Museum for our literary party as a Costumed Guest of Honor to assist in our raffle contest, pulling the coveted prizewinning ticket.
Raffle prize contest winner Janice Cantu (shown below far left, in a white blouse and white hat with black trimmings) received a year's Museum Membership, along some tasty Halloween treats AND a free signed copy of the novel! Congratulations, Janice, and thank you for the pleasure of your company! So glad you enjoyed the discussion and reading.
Ludmila Kisseleva-Eggleton, another very beautifully dressed attendee (pictured alone, right, in a black fitted jacket with crimson red blouse beneath), was moved to make a pledge of support and became a Lacis Museum Member as well. Already an active member of the Art Deco Society of California, Ludmila was thrilled to discover Lacis Museum through the recommendation of her friends. Thank you, Ludmila! It was a joy to have you here.
We can't wait to show you both our ongoing exhibit, Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed, AND invite you to the opening of our newest exhibit, Transcending Fashion: The Lace Accessory. Hope to see you all again soon!
This past month, we were honored to give a tour of Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed to a wonderful group of fashion design students from San Francisco State!
Lecturer Nancy Martin, who teaches apparel arts, led them on this special field trip. They were such a gracious and attentive cohort of learners, full of intelligent questions and curiosity!
This is the reward we receive at Lacis Museum when we are able to share our unique textile collection with the public: the pleasure of mutual inspiration and community engagement.
What a joy to have such a talented and charismatic group of young creatives in our midst! Not only that, but we were pleased to be able to help them obtain supplies for their upcoming corsetry assignment, too. We hope to see them all again soon — and their projects!
We're ending the year with two more holiday-themed workshops, which you'll already have heard about...
Sat., Nov. 11
Nautilus Shell Cockade
Sat., Nov. 18
...but we're ALSO getting ready to start 2024 off with a bang!
So many new workshops are now coming up that will be totally new to many of you, like sashiko — tambour beading — and crazy quilting! That's just the tip of the iceberg, folks.
We're absolutely pumped for these new offerings, with new instructors, too. All our visitors and students and instructors are such creative, enriching, encouraging people. Together, there's nothing we can't learn and accomplish. One of our big resolutions for 2024 is to see that Lacis Museum becomes an even more exciting and active hub for needle-arts lovers looking for that elusive textile community connection!
Peruse the course catalog below... and stay tuned for more class announcements coming soon!
Sat., Jan. 6 or Thurs. Jan. 11
Learn the basics
Fundamentals of Embroidery 1
Tues. & Thurs., Jan. 9 & 11
Sat., Jan. 13
Get Started with
Sat., Jan. 20 & Sat. Feb. 3
For beginning sewists
Mon.-Fri., Jan. 22-26
Sat., Jan. 27
Learn Sashiko Stitching —
Sat., Jan. 20 & Sat., Feb. 3
For beginning sewists
Sat. Feb. 10
We love it when our talented Lacis visitors are working on a project and show us a photo, or even bring in the project itself! Inspiration abounds in this place, and that's in no small part thanks to you. Read our Customer of the Month section for even more amazing work done by our Lacis friends.
This customer had some leftover coutil from the last time she made a corset — which was actually waaay back in the day, when Lacis Museum hosted a corsetry workshop! Just look how far she's come: her latest creation, stunning in blue-gold brocade, has a delicious chocolate-brown lining. Just jaw-dropping. Thanks for letting us share this fabulous creation!
One of our most magical and awe-inspiring visitors, Holly Bobisuthi, bought a delicate piece of silk organza fabric from us a few weeks ago and dyed it a magnificent blue — as she's a metalsmith, it's naturally destined to be adorned with stars! We were in such awe of this magnificent image, and can't wait to see how it progresses.
Not only that, but Holly had some wonderful news to share with us: she has a new gallery show, The Sensual World, happening at The Werkshack in Oakland! Congratulations, Holly, on another milestone accomplishment on your unique sculptural journey — we'll definitely be dropping by to peep your INCREDIBLE pieces! And, reader, if these images intrigue you, read this interview with Holly to learn more about her very intentional art practice and the ritual-adornment philosophy behind her dramatic, showstopping jewelry.
Opening November 17
Accessories define us and set us apart from others in the world of fashion.
The typical accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, purses, and shoes make us unique. The collar and handkerchief, once only functional items, have become fashion statements that reflect our personal identity and message. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg exemplified this purpose when she wore lace collars and jabots on her black robe and utilized a sartorial strategy that powerful women have practiced throughout history.
From the Middle Ages to the present day, collars have been a significant part of fashion.
The great ruff, a collar worn in the Renaissance, was the most outlandish statement of costume. Over time, collars evolved into many related objects of adornment that made timeless statements about our personality.
The bertha, jabot, appendage on the bonnet and headscarf, and tie were all supports for various sartorial statements.
Initially, the handkerchief was tied to physical needs such as wiping sweat from the brow. However, it has evolved into a coveted luxury item that is held in hand and displayed publicly. Lace and needlework have become the perfect medium for these ultimate accessories, showcasing the highest level of execution.
This new LMLT exhibit will display beautiful examples of collars and handkerchiefs from the 17th—20th century featuring various lace and embroidery techniques. Email or call us to book your appointment. Tours are $3 per person, with a special discounted rate for textile arts clubs and excursions with local organizations. For Lacis Museum Members and up to 4 of their friends, admission is free!
Our ongoing exhibit upstairs, Day's End: Personal Glamour Exposed, allows us to peek into the closets of history to reveal our most intimate items of clothing: the things never worn around strangers or out of the house.
It is a joyful exploration of the gorgeous, often sensuous attire worn in private, like nightgowns, robes, and pajamas from the 1860s to the 1930s.
Such garments represented the shedding of one's public life to transition into a personal world of comfort and glamour. These historical clothes were worn for the wearer's pleasure and sometimes included intricate details that only one's closest loved ones ever saw. An elegant nightgown, an essential part of a bride's trousseau, would have only been seen by her new husband.
Nighttime apparel often featured inserts of the finest machine lace, hand embroidery, ribbons, shirring, pin tucks, ruffles—and sometimes the ultimate stamp of luxury, a custom monogram. And although these garments were available through catalogs and stores, many pieces were lovingly handmade at home, further confirming their cherished nature.
Stroll through this dreamscape of our past... before sweatpants, yoga pants, and workplace pajamas... and into a world of sumptuous personal glamour—exposed.
We've received so many rave reviews from our visitors, writing in our guest book and thoughtfully sending us notes in the post — thank you very kindly!
This Robert Four tapestry reproduces a segment of "The Stag at Bay" from the Netherlands. The original dates back to the late 15th century, and it now resides at the Met Museum. This copy, however, you can see at Lacis Museum, hanging above our shop floor!
The Aubusson tapestry-weaving tradition has continued almost unbroken since the 1300s, when its small weaving industry was first established. There was a hiatus in the 1700 and 1800s, but its 20th-century revival peaked in about 1911.
The piece you'll see here at Lacis Museum dates from after the 1950s, but the methods used in its manufacture are extremely close to those of the artisans centuries ago. In fact, in 2019, Aubusson tapestries were declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
We sent a pair of charming Christmas hankies to our customer Eileen, and she was just thrilled!
Eileen kindly wrote to us, "Received the handkerchiefs and absolutely love them. They are both so lovely in person. Wonderful to have the Woolworth original tag pinned on — brings memories of my childhood when my mother and I went to Woolworth's in Sacramento. In my adolescence I frequently went there too. Such wonderful design... If I visit Berkeley one day, I'll be sure to visit your museum."
We hope you do, Eileen! We are so glad to hear this pair of hankies brought back such warm memories. What a nice way to kick off the holiday season!
"These are a few of my favorite things..." — for the holidays!
Don't forget, Lacis Museum Members receive 20% off of books purchased in our Museum shop
We've been waiting for this one for a LONG time!
Dress, textile and fashion historian and curator Hilary Davidson has a new book out from Yale University Press, and it NEEDS to be sitting on your bookshelf next to her previous book on Jane Austen, Dress in the Age of Jane Austen: Regency Fashion. (Said bookshelf should also include these titles, too.)
Listen to her discuss the book in this podcast from the Jane Austen Society — or the BBC's show "The Rest is History" on The Regency Revolution. Relying on Jane Austen's correspondence as her primary source material, Davidson paints an incredibly detailed and evocative picture of the novelist's clothing, her personal style, and the fashions of her times. Austenites and Regency fanatics, you must not miss this moment in Jane Austen and textile scholarship — it's a real game-changer!
One of our all-time favorite visitors and Lacis Museum members, Bethany Procopio, has been making excellent use of our vintage and antique hat block lending library!
She'd never dabbled in millinery before, but once she tried it out, she never looked back. You should see her incredible 1940s-inspired witch's hat. We featured it on our Instagram!
Not only does Bethany knit and sew, but she also sings with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, and in her professional life, she's a bona fide fine art conservator! She studied her craft extensively in the UK and Italy. In fact, in their annual list of Top 75 Art Professionals, ArtNews just named her one of the top 6 fine art conservation studios in business — congratulations, Bethany! We can't wait to see your next hat!!
On Sat., November 4 from 1:00-5:00 in Palo Alto,
one of our great local textile-sculptural artist-educators, Cynthia Branvall, is holding an open studio event at Cubberley Artist Studios. (You might remember her from our Customer of the Month feature in August.) Shown below is a collaborative piece she created with visual artist Patrick Fenton.
The Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation. We are a unique legacy museum located in Berkeley, California. We host a wide range of hands-on workshops, several galleries of rotating exhibits, and our Museum Shop carries an extensive supply of vintage goods, craft- and costume-related books, and needlework supplies.
Our purpose is to:
• Preserve lace and textiles of all cultures from all periods
• Provide a resource center for research and documentation of these objects
• Educate and disseminate knowledge of lace and textiles
For just $25.00, you can become an official, card-carrying Lacis Museum Member for a year—and enjoy exclusive benefits! Get your membership via our Etsy shop, or alternatively, contact us in a number of other ways to join this vitally important circle of Lacis friends. We thank you for your support!
• 10% discount at our Etsy shop for purchases over $50
• 20% off books purchased at the Lacis Museum shop
• Free museum admission for you and up to (4) guests
• Special invitation to show openings
• Class discounts
Newsletter written and edited by Christine Krause.
Any inaccuracies or errors are her own. Please email any comments, corrections or updates you may have to: email@example.com.
The Lacis Museum of Lace & Textiles
2982 Adeline St.
Berkeley, CA 94703