Within the world of Facebook I am a wallflower. I have a total of 27 friends…seriously. Of course, I have a strict criteria that I follow when deciding if I want to be someone’s friend. I must know the person for a minimum of 30 years or be related by blood or marriage; all of which means I’m pretty tight with my 27 friends.

Since I don’t spend a lot of time keeping up with everyone’s activities of daily living I do have time to keep up with some of my favorite websites that also support Facebook pages. For example, I receive all the latest news about The Textile Museum and Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. It’s a quick and easy way of keeping up with what’s going on which, afterall,  is the point of Facebook whether you have lots of friends or just 27!

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Old Sturbridge Village (http://www.osv.org)

The Labour of My Youthful Hands, the new needlework exhibit at Old Sturbridge Village, features young ladies’ needlework and ornamental arts from the OSV collection. Featured pieces include simple marking samplers, embroideries based on classical literature, whitework and three new acquisitions. This exhibit runs through June 19, 2011. Old Sturbridge Village, located in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, is the largest outdoor history museum in the northeastern part of the United States. It depicts everyday life in a small New England town from 1790-1840.   

White River Valley Museum (http://www.wrvmuseum.org)

Closing Soon This Auburn, Washington museum is hosting Household Lace Adds Charm to Your Place, a delightful sounding exhibit “honoring the art and history of making lace.” It runs through August 1 and is sponsored by International Old Lacers, Inc. and the Lace Council for Education. The museum website features exhibit photographs as well as an informative You Tube video.

The Textile Museum (http://www.textilemuseum.org)

Through January 9, 2011 The Textile Museum is featuring The Art of Living: Textile Furnishings from the Permanent Collection. On display are textile furnishings including hangings, rugs, chair covers, cushions and other materials. According to the museum website, “the varied furnishing textiles in the exhibition, made to provide protection, comfort, color and pattern in homes from the ancient Mediterranean world to 20th-century America, document the lifestyles enjoyed by their original owners as well as the technical and artistic accomplishments of their creators.” Check the website for more information.

Winchester-Frederick Historical Society (http://www.winchesterhistory.org)

This Virginia historical society is hosting When This You See Remember Me: Schoolgirl Samplers of Winchester-Frederick County, Virginia. The exhibit features 25 samplers from the area and runs through October 31. You can read details about the historical society and its museums on their website. Unfortunately there is no information about this exhibit. To learn more about it click this link to read a very informative article about the exhibit. Northern Virginia Daily

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, 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. Check the museum’s website for an extensive slide show featuring many of the garments.

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

Women Only: Folk Art by Female Hands features pieces from the collections of this New York City museum. The exhibit, which runs through September 12,  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 and this  interesting podcast about the exhibit. 

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

This museum, part of the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts, holds the largest and most diverse collection of Armenian cultural artifacts outside the Republic of Armenia. One of the museums’ current exhibits is Identifying Armenian Lace. It 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. 

Note: All photographs are courtesy of the individual museums.       

White River Valley Museum (http://www.wrvmuseum.org)

This Auburn, Washington museum is hosting Household Lace Adds Charm to Your Place, a delightful sounding exhibit “honoring the art and history of making lace.” It runs through August 1 and is sponsored by International Old Lacers, Inc. and the Lace Council for Education. The museum website features an informative You Tube video about the exhibit as well as photographs.

The Textile Museum (http://www.textilemuseum.org)

Through January 9, 2011 The Textile Museum is featuring The Art of Living: Textile Furnishing from the Permanent Collection. On display are textile furnishings including hangings, rugs, chair covers, cushions and other materials. According to the museum website, “the varied furnishing textiles in the exhibition, made to provide protection, comfort, color and pattern in homes from the ancient Mediterranean world to 20th-century  America, document the lifestyles enjoyed by their original owners as well as the technical and artistic accomplishments of their creators.” Check the website for more information.

WinchesterFrederick Historical Society (http://www.winchesterhistory.org)

This Virginia historical society is hosting When This You See Remember Me: Schoolgirl Samplers of Winchester-Frederick County, Virginia. The exhibit features 25 samplers from the area and runs through October 31. You can read details about the historical society and its museums on their website. Unfortunately, there is no information about this exhibit. You can access an informative article in the on-line edition of the Northern Virginia Daily. Go to http://nvdaily.com/lifestyle/2010/04/historic-samplers-are-focus-of-museum-exhibit.php to read the article. 

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, 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. Check the museum’s website for an extensive slide show featuring many of the garments.

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

Women Only: Folk Art by Female Hands features 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 which includes an interesting podcast about this exhibit which runs through September 12.

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

This museum, part of the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts, holds the largest and most diverse collection of Armenian cultural artifacts outside the Republic of Armenia. One of the museum’s current exhibits is Identifying Armenian Lace. It 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.

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

Closing Soon 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)

Closing Soon 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 the 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.  

I recently received this press release from Lacis Museum of Lace mapand Textiles in Berkeley, CA:

On Saturday September 26, 2009 the Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles will participate in Smithsonian Magazine’s fifth annual Museum Day with the opening of the new exhibit Bobbin Lace. The exhibit celebrates “500 years of one of the most humbling achievements of the human soul with a presentation of the laces, the lace makers and lace making.”

A Museum Day Admission Card is requested. Visit http://www.smithsonian.com/museumday to download your admission card and view a complete list of participating museums along with their links.

Other museums participating in Museum Day include The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. and the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts.

While checking various museum websites I found the following exhibits that sound interesting:

Winterthur Museum (http://www.winterthur.org)

 Who’s Your Daddy?  explores, among other things,  the relationship between families and needlework; particularly samplers. It also shows how needlework can be a primary source in historical and genealogical research.  The exhibit runs through August 17, 2009.

The Textile Museum (http://www.textilemuseum.org)

Constructed Colors: Amish Quilts is a display of 29 quilts on loan from the International Quilt Study Center and Museum at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The quilts were made in Lancaster County, PA, the Midwestern communities and Mifflin County, PA. Each area represents a distinct style of Amish quilting. The exhibit runs through September 6, 2009.

If you’re in the neighborhood check out these exhibits and let me know what you think of them!

blog 003As with most things in life, it’s much better to be proactive than reactive when taking care of your antique and vintage needlework; much of which has probably been in your family for many years. There is some very good Web based  information on this topic. The following are my recommendations:

Guidelines for the Care of  Textiles were written by the folks at The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. You can access it by going to http://www.textilemuseum.org/care/brochures/guidelines.htm.

Caring for Your Textiles was put together by the staff at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. There are several articles listed in the Contents bar on the left side of the page. All are worth reading. http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/textiles/caring_textiles/index.html

Cynthia’s Linen Room is an on-line store specializing in antique and vintage textiles. Included is an informative section focusing on the washing, storing and caring for antique linens. Go to http://www.antique-linens.com and click on “Laundry Tips/Care” in the information section.

Antique Linens by Em’s Heart is another on-line store specializing in antique linens and lace. It also offers some good tips on the care of linens. Click on the “Care of Linen” tab at http://emsheart.com.