*** Please call ahead if you wish to bring a group of 6 or more to see displays at the museum ***
A reception to introduce this display will be held on September 9, 7-9 pm.
"The Lacemakers of Belgium" opens July 5, 2016
and runs through October 2016.
"A lace instructor and her student in Zele, Belgium. Circa 1920."
Point de Gaze lace handkerchief corner
Long prized for its artistry, Belgian lace was also a symbol of an important national industry in the 19th and early 20th centuries. At its peak in the late 1800s, the lace trade in Belgium employed tens of thousands of skilled workers, primarily women and girls. They often learned their skills in the schools of Belgian "lace cities," such as Bruges and Brussels. Once they became proficient in their craft, these lace makers were employed by local workshops that produced the delicate Point de Gaze shawls, Duchesse collars, and Brussels appliqué favored by fashionable women of the era. Although Belgian lace schools and workshops had largely disappeared by the mid-1900s, lace making continues in Belgium today as a cottage industry, particularly in tourist centers.
The museum's second exhibit of 2016, "The Lacemakers of Belgium," highlights the lives and work of these artisans from more than a century ago. The museum's exhibit includes a display area recreating a Belgian lace school from early in the 20th century, complete with period photos, costumes, and samples of lace. The exhibit also features selected items from the museum's own collection of Belgian lace.