Back To The Future At Lacis

Lynn Schoeffler © 2006

   
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Pronounce Lacis how you will-- La Cease? Lay cees? --or even just Lacy's, as manager Erin Algeo laughingly told me, your experience here will be an exceptional one.

With only one precious afternoon to spend during a visit to San Francisco, and agog with anticipation, I had to deliberately slow my pace as I stepped into the entrance of Lacis. The charming façade of the legendary museum and retail shop set in a quiet Berkeley neighborhood deserved more than a glance, as did the beautiful window display.

Founded in 2004 by Kaethe and Jules Kliot, Lacis provides a “haven for the contemporary textile artist, as well as a museum for the preservation of lace, small sewing and fashion accessories, and textiles from all eras and cultures”.

As my gaze flew from wonderful displays of thread, shelves and shelves of books, poster boards and bins full of exquisite lace--I realized that a week would not be too long to spend here. I blissfully immersed myself in the old/new atmosphere—beautiful new silk, cotton, rayon threads; tools for every fiber technique imaginable; gorgeous bridal fabric and real Chantilly lace. The beautifully staged exhibit of mid 19th century gowns and accessories was fascinating, showing a wide variety of undergarments, corsets, and even a bustle cage!

   
   
   

One beautifully embroidered net scarf really caught my eye, and Erin Algeo very kindly allowed me to remove it from the glass case to photograph it. The delicate pattern was worked as neatly on the front of the piece as the back; the scarf might have graced a gown from the turn of the century, circa 1900 to 1910.   (Click photo to expand view. You could easily reproduce this pattern from the photo.)

   

The Lacis Museum exhibits change many times in the year with displays of vintage textiles and contemporary fiber art work. The Lacis web site hosts views of current and past exhibits: Visit the Museum here

For more information, and an online catalog: Click Here

     
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