March 23, 2007 - January 6, 2008

Higbee Gallery | Jean L. Druesedow, Director

When Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman donated their collection of costume and decorative arts to Kent State University, they included an extensive group of fine laces, some of which had been collected by Shannon's mother. Two additional gifts have had extraordinary examples of seventeenth and eighteenth century lace. The first, in 1995, was the transfer of costumes and textiles from the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. The second, in 2004, came from Jo A. Bidner of Brooklyn, New York. We are grateful to these and other donors who have added exceptional pieces to the museum collection over the past two decades.

Creating the exhibition has provided special opportunities for students, staff and volunteers alike. Kelly Schultz, a senior Fashion Merchandising major and Cynthia Lynn, who recently received her B.A. degree in Fine Arts with a theatre design minor, spent the summer studying the laces. Kelly prepared the initial descriptions and object lists and planned the "Lace Exploration Days." Cynthia studied the laces in preparation for designing the exhibition as part of her professional portfolio development. She also did the faux marbleizing and detail painting in the exhibition. Kate Rieppel assisted with dressing and photographing the mannequins. Special help in the identification of the various types of lace came from Elizabeth Kurella, a noted authority on lace and respected author. Elizabeth spent two days with us in Kent pouring over the collection and helping us learn about the complexities of lace. We are extremely appreciative of her generosity and knowledge. Virginia Buckley, a lace-maker in the Kent community, spent many hours untangling the bobbins on our bobbin lace pillows. I would like to express my thanks to the Museum's dedicated staff, all of whom assisted in the preparation of the exhibition. In the end, we have gained an increased understanding of lace and lace-making and remain in awe of those who crafted such remarkable examples of this particular textile art.