Visitors to this site might be interested in a new article by David Hopkin on ‘The “Dying Art” of Lacemaking and the Flemish Cultural Revival’. It is published in English and Catalan, open-access, in the magazine Datatèxtil 42 (2023), pages 51-63. The article, and the whole magazine, is available here.
The article tells the story of Mechelen or Malines lacemaking in the two decades before the First World War. Despite various attempts to revive handmade lace in this Belgian city, the industry was in terminal decline. Three figures combined to provide it with a swan song: the local historian Guillaume (or Willem) Van Caster, Canon of Mechelen’s cathedral; the artist Alexander Struys; and the novelist Herman Baccaert. The article follows the interweaving of their different activities.
Datatèxtil has published lots of excellent articles on lace, mostly but not exclusively Spanish and Catalan lace. For example, there are articles on popular names for Catalan lace patterns in vol 28, the Honiton lace industry in vol 29, ‘modernist’ lace designs in vol 30, the lace collection of Madrid’s museum of Decorative Art in vol 33, Almagro lace in vol 36… All these are free to read and download via the link given above.
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