If You’re In the Neighborhood in March

March 2, 2010

Armenian Museum of America (http://www.almainc.org/museum.html)

This museum, a division of the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts, contains the largest and most diverse collection of Armenian cultural artifacts outside the Republic of Armenia. One of the museum’s current exhibitions is Identifying Armenian Lace. The exhibit focuses on the history of Armenian needle lace and features an array of lace collars, large doilies, three-dimensional flowers, household items and clothing embellished with lace. Visit the very informative website to learn more about Armenia’s rich and, at times, tragic history. There are also several books on lace and other Armenian textiles available from the museum’s on-line gift shop. The museum is open on Thursdays from 6:00-9:00 pm and Friday-Sunday 1:00-5:00 pm. There is free admission for members and a $5.00 charge for non-members.

American Textile History Museum (http://www.athm.org)

Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, this museum is the site of an exhibit dedicated entirely to that fabulous ’50s functional icon…the apron! The exhibit, on display until April 4, showcases aprons that are full length, half aprons, those worn by waitresses and the more elaborate hostess/cocktail aprons. According to the museum’s website this should be a fun, hands-on exhibit with guests having the opportunity to try on some of these pieces of textile history. The museum is open Wednesday-Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Admission is free for members, $8.00 for adults (17 and older), and $6.00 for seniors, children (6-16) and college students with an ID.

William King Museum (http://www.williamkingmuseum.org)

William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia is hosting An Educational Woman: Art from Girls’ Schools and Women’s Colleges. The exhibit, on display until July 11, 2010, focuses on ornamental, or schoolgirl, art as part of the curriculum in the early days of women’s education in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. According to the museum’s website, this installation will “highlight ornamental art projects and the history of the region’s many women’s educational institutions.” Needlework will be just one type of art on display. Visit the website for more information on hours of operation.

Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts (http://textiles.fit.edu)

Speaking with Thread: The Narrative of Textiles “will feature textiles that present stories through their imagery and symbolism.” Pieces from the museums’s collection as well as those from private collections will make up this exhibit. Objects include European samplers, imperial Chinese textiles and Persian carpets. The exhibit runs through April 24, 2010. The museum, on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology, is open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-4:00.

Philadelphia Museum of Art (http://www.philamuseum.org)

Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal showcases over 40 examples of quilts from Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal. According to the museum website, stitchingthese quilts was an art practiced by women and created from remnants of worn garments. The quilts were embroidered with motifs and tales drawn from the rich local lore. Created during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the quilts were made for the celebrations of births, weddings and other family occasions. It was during this time period that this domestic art flourished. The exhibit runs through July 25, 2010. Check the website for more details.

Philadelphia Museum (http://www.laceintranslation.com)

Closing Soon According to the website, this exhibit is an exploration by three contemporary international art and design studios whose works are often inspired by traditional lace imagery. The artists explored the historic Quaker Lace Company collection of The Design Center at Philadelphia University. They were then commissioned to create new works or installations in the Center’s galleries and adjoining grounds. This exhibit runs through April 3, 2010. The website features some great photographs of the various works of art. Another fun feature of the website is the “Your Translations” page. The gallery invites the public to display their homemade pieces in any area of the needlearts. Visit the website for more information.

Note: all photographs are courtesy of the individual museums.

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