Figural Lace: Lions and Tigers and Dragons, oh my! - Updated July 11, 2018
New exhibit is open!

Over the centuries, lace makers have found creative ways to represent human, animal and bird forms in their work. From simple macram√© knotting to the most elaborate of needle and bobbin lace techniques, they have worked figures—all kinds of figures—into their lace.

This exhibit showcases the diversity of figural subject matter, the variety of lace styles used, and some of the medieval to modern stories told in lace. The pieces on display feature creatures both real and imaginary. Their inspiration was drawn from legends, historical events, nature, whimsy, and allegory.

The show includes pieces ranging from primitive animals worked in reticella, c1610, to an evocative bobbin lace scene worked during World War I. The careful observer will find that mermaids, lions, kings, queens, horses, eagles, unicorns, frogs, ducks, goats and dragons all came alive in the hands of the lace makers. The exhibit is open through October 20, 2018. More photos

Our Mission

To Preserve Lace and the Art of Lace Making: The museum houses approximately 10,000 pieces of lace that have been donated over the years. Many types of lace, lace-making tools and books that date back as far as the 1700's can be found in the museum.

To Exhibit Lace and its Historical Use: Every four months, the museum arranges a new major exhibit to demonstrate the breadth of its holdings.

To Offer Instruction in All Facets of Lace Making: Ongoing classes and workshops are offered year round. Demonstrations at local craft fairs help educate the public about lace making. Museum volunteers take lace making projects for children into area schools.

Our Story

The Lace Museum was founded in 1976 in the San Francisco Bay Area in California by a small group of women in order to preserve the art of lace making. By meeting regularly, the founding members were able to teach each other lace making techniques, teach other groups and individuals how to make lace, and to educate the community about the fine art of lace making through exhibits, shows and community events.

Please visit our memorial page for one of our co-founders, Gracie Larsen.

The Lace Museum was incorporated in 1981 as a non-profit organization administered by a Board of Directors and is staffed entirely by volunteers. It is supported by donations, Friends of the Museum, and sales from the gift shop.

The Lace Museum is associated with: