In Memoriam: Ele Schwartz – Leader, Teacher and Creator

Eleanor Schwartz, affectionately know as Ele, passed away on July 3, 2023. She was an exemplary leader for The Lace Museum, an extraordinary teacher of lace techniques, and an energetic creator in various lace methods.

Ele was an integral part of our museum’s day to day operations. She encouraged so many students and intrigued countless visitors with her vast knowledge and dedication. Ele will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered in all that she created around her.

There will be a memorial service for Ele on Friday, July 28 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 15885 Los Gatos Almaden Rd., Los Gatos, California 95032. The memorial service will take place at 10:30 AM in the sanctuary followed by a luncheon in the Fireside Room. All who knew Ele are welcome.

In lieu of flowers, Ele’s family welcomes donations either to Holy Cross Lutheran Church or The Lace Museum. Donations made be by check or online. Details can be found here: Holy Cross Lutheran Church or The Lace Museum.

Please visit our memorial page for Ele for an in-depth view of her contributions to The Lace Museum and her students.

Exciting News for The Lace Museum

Here in Silicon Valley there was a brisk change in business and traffic patterns in the decade leading up to 2020.  We have been planning some changes to keep our business relevant and our mission strong. The pandemic accelerated some of those changes as we created a robust online presence with our web shops,  virtual workshops, virtual exhibits,  social media and even virtual volunteers.  We are very proud that The Lace Museum has thrived as we supported and connected the global community of lace makers.  We happily announce a new location for the museum at 200 Brown Road, Fremont, CA.

Making this move is a great opportunity, putting us in a position to begin implementing other plans that the pandemic had forced us to pause.

  • Putting our collection online. Since 2010 we have catalogued our entire collection of lace into a database with the goal of putting it online.  We will now focus on producing high quality images of each piece as the next step to prepare for the online database. The scope of this endeavor will make it a multi-year project.
  • Moving to a nicer facility. Our new headquarters will allow us to support all of our volunteers, as well as continue the conservation of our collection, run in person classes and workshops, house a permanent display, and provide a meeting place for local makers. The new location will have dedicated space to facilitate photographing the collection.
  • Introducing new member benefits. In 2024, we plan to provide members with personal viewings of pieces from our collection and the ability to use our research archive.

We will continue to be open in our current location through October 1st, 2022.

We will re-open in Spring 2023 at 200 Brown Road, Fremont, CA. At our new location, we will be open the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, as well as by appointment.

As a teaching museum, we will continue our in-person workshops and classes as regularly scheduled throughout the transition.

Passing of Co-Founder Cherie Helm

Cherie Martineau Helm, one of The Lace Museum’s co-founders, passed away in January 2022. Throughout her life, Cherie was an avid collector, specializing in antiques, textiles, and especially handmade lace. It was her interest in lace that she, along with Gracie Larsen, became co-founders of The Lace Museum in Sunnyvale. The museum is devoted to preserving, displaying, and teaching the art and history of lacemaking. Cherie enjoyed making bobbin lace, tatting and needle lace. She developed her own style of lace that she named Martineau Tape Lace. She shared her interest in lace with enthusiasm, demonstrating and teaching others how to make needle lace. She was known during her time at the museum for her exquisite Christmas ornaments.

Please visit Cherie’s memorial page for more details of her life.