6/28/14 This post is being re-issued since additional information is now available.
The Art of the Lacemaker (Revisited)
Sponsor: The Guelph Community Foundation
Dates: July 11, to November 2, 2014. Reception July 11, 7:00 PM.
Place: The Guelph Civic Museum
52 Norfolk Street, Guelph, Ontario N1H 4H8, Canada
Entries for the competition will be shown in a gallery adjacent to the main exhibition.
Hours and Admission: http://tinyurl.com/o9x3oly
Websites: http://tinyurl.com/mronnbg http://tinyurl.com/laa28p8 http://tinyurl.com/llasaj5
Curator: Dr. Joyce Taylor Dawson, joyceTdawson@cogeco.ca
Curatorial Associate: Nancy Pye, firstname.lastname@example.org
Catalog: A catalog will be available.
Sunday July 27, 1:00 PM, Nancy Pye, “Searching for Vintage and Antique Laces: the trials, travels and triumphs of an avid collector.”
Sunday August 24, 1:00 PM, Dr. Joyce Dawson, “Granny’s Lace Hankies: Why Memories Matter”
Workshop Registration: The workshop schedule is given in the handouts at the end of this post. Contact Joyce Taylor Dawson, joyceTdawson@cogeco.ca, (905) 627-5311 to register. Instructors are lace experts Colleen Lynch, Joyce Taylor Dawson, and Nancy Pye.
Margaret Ruhland had finalized arrangement for this exhibition with the Guelph Civic Museum shortly before she died unexpectedly in March 2013. My thanks to her close friend Dr. Joyce Taylor Dawson for these notes on Margaret and her collection. Ebayers may also recognize Margaret as the seller calicogre.
A woman of many talents and interests, Margaret Ruhland began collecting and studying lace in 1978 and quickly developed into one of Canada’s leading experts in the field. Her natural affinity for textiles and fashion, learned as a young girl in her native Holland, became an exceptional curiosity and interest in all facets of fibre arts. She was an accomplished weaver, embroiderer, needle lacemaker, and textile conservator.
Margaret’s’ most significant contribution to the world of lace (aside from being a maker and teacher) was the amassing, with the help and encouragement of her artist husband Herman, of the Ruhland Collection of Lace. Found in Canada, the U. S. and many European countries, the 450 objects in the collection span three centuries of the lacemaker’s art. This collection is a tribute to the skill, taste and perseverance of each and
every one of its makers. Margaret’s goal, with each and every piece she gathered, was to produce a collection which would educate and create an understanding of the history and intricacies of lace.
Until her recent and unexpected passing, Margaret’s creativity turned to hemp fashion designs and one of a kind jewellery pieces that allowed her to indulge her deep love of all things natural and won accolades for all of the works she created as a founding member of the artists’ group in the Grotto Artworks in Merrickville, Ontario. She will be sadly missed by all who had the pleasure of her friendship and the benefit of her great knowledge.
The Ruhland Collection
The Ruhland Collection, begun in 1978, is a uniquely diverse collection of both hand and machine made laces. It encompasses all forms of lace techniques—from early needleworks to bobbin and machine-made lace— and fine quality examples representing three centuries and a wide variety of social strata. Some of the finest examples in this collection include early needle-worked figural pieces which feature fantastic birds, beasts, princes and angels. Because of the fragile and delicate nature that made up lace, much of this history has been lost. However, Margaret Ruhland was determined to capture the finest examples of this ephemeral art form for our enjoyment and study. It is its diversity which makes the Ruhland Collection tailor-made for the education of visitors. The collection was established with the goal of documenting lace heritage for public education and that goal
remains unchanged today.