If You’re In the Neighborhood in April

April 1, 2010

Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles (http://www.lacismuseum.org)

Night and Day: The World of the Twenties, Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles latest offering, opens April 3. It explores the spirit of the 1920s through embellished garments including ribbon flowers, beadwork and lace. Making this display more life-like are the wax-headed articulated dolls used to model the clothing. The exhibit runs through September 1. More details will be provided on the museum’s website once the exhibit opens. 

American Folk Art Museum (http://www.folkartmuseum.org)

Women Only: Folk Art by Female Hands opens April 6 and runs through September 12. Featuring pieces from the collections of this New York City museum, the exhibit focuses on works “created within the strictures of post-revolutionary Republican Motherhood and the Cult of Domesticity” including samplers, quilts and rugs. For more information check out the museum website.

By the way, the Cult of Domesticity espoused the four virtues of piety, purity, submission and domesticity and the belief that the home was the proper sphere for women. The Republic of Motherhood was a concept that supported the theory of “mother” as a key force in the preservation and advancement of democracy.  

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

Closing Soon Speaking with Thread: The Narrative of Textiles “will feature textiles that present stories through their imagery and symbolism.” Pieces from the museum’s collections 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. The museum, on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology, is open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-4:00.

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.

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, 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. 

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, stitching these 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. Check the website for more details. 

Note: All photographs are courtesy of the individual museums.

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