A Selection of Lace Pieces 
from an Anonymous Collector,
Donated by Susan Glinert Stevens

June 2nd - September 30th, 2008

Lace 1

Slide Show

In any form, lace  surrounds itself with a web of intrigue and mystery.
Certainly not a web to keep one warm or concealed,
but surely a web of frivolity…an expression of joy.
The marvel of its creation remains one of the wonders of human work, whether made by hand or machine.

As its popularity and use has faded in and out with the generations, it has come in and out of dusty trunks, drawers and rag bins, the precious often merging with the less precious…the distinction often fuzzy. Is it wonder at the hand and thread that created the lace or marvel at the mind and machine that contrived a mechanism for its creation?

When we do take a close look at lace, the wonder is perceived, much as the examination of a leaf reveals the further wonders of the tree. We understand lace as a human creation, the intrinsic value of each piece offering insight, and we find ourselves loving all we find. And if we collect these pieces for no other reason, collecting is justified. Many times we think of recycling the glory by embellishment or combination with other elements to offer another life to the past. We soon realize that these pieces are from a different generation, if not a different world...a world where time and hand moved differently, where the riches in life were those created by our own hands.

The elements of this exhibit represent a portion of the contents of a box that was sent to the Museum as a donation from an old friend of Lacis, Susan Glinert Stevens, who described it as a collection that

“was given to me  by  a very nice elderly lady. And while I enjoyed going through the boxes every so often, as years went by, I realized that some of the pieces were deteriorating and I, now an elderly lady myself, couldn’t take care of these items. Some of the pieces are lovely, some not so much, but I stand in awe of the number of hours they represent.

Most of the pieces had an identifying tag, many of them attached by rusty pins. Many were discolored from age and the fear of washing. Some were wound on pieces of found cardboard, and some shared their ailments with others. It is apparent that every piece was saved, to be deciphered and understood at another time. Along with lengths of vintage machine laces were snippets of exquisite whitework embroidery and lace edgings cut from pillow covers, slips, and bloomers that were long since retired.

The purpose of this exhibit is not only to show the varied faces of lace but to offer inspiration as to how it can be enjoyed through display, how it can be protected and preserved for other generations, how it can be identified and why it should be loved.

Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles