Women, Craft and Identity. Intergenerational Representations of Lacemakers

  • Wendy Wiertz (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


Since lacemaking originated in the 16th century, the craft and its predominantly female maker have been a well-loved topic in the Western art canon. From Vermeer’s 17th-century genre painting The Lacemaker to Kimsooja’s recent video Tread Routes chapter II, the figure of the lacemaker, the tools she handles and the fragile white textile she produces fascinate artists and audiences alike. The lacemaker is often depicted on her own, but at times in intergenerational group settings. This paper aims to unpack representations of individual and groups of lacemakers uncovering a thread from lace training in childhood to continuing lace production in old age. The results connect women’s lives, their craft and intergenerational collaboration to domestic lace industries, national identity and cultural heritage. As a case study serve photographs, postcards and posters of Belgian lacemakers during and shortly after the First World War.
Period22 Nov 2022
Event titleLife-Cycles Seminar: Women, Craft and Identity: Intergenerational Representations of Lacemakers
Event typeSeminar
LocationLondon, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational