Many people have noted the gradual disappearance of lace on view at major museums, or even vanishing lace collections themselves. From the closure of the Salle van Overloop in Brussels up to the recent lace deaccessions at auction in New York (due largely to the transfer of the Brooklyn Museum’s costume collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art – it’s a complex and little understood story). And the decline in government support for other museums around the world has put important lace collections at risk.
The latest threat is to the French Musée des Tissus de Lyon (http://tinyurl.com/hstfmuo). They are losing the support of the French government, and an important sponsor, the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (CCI). I visited this museum in 1980 and was left virtually alone with their lace collection in storage – an amazing experience. August Lefébure documented the collection in a 114 plate publication in 1909. Other publications date back to 1890. The museum is also the home of the highly regarded Centre International d’Etude des Textiles Anciens (CIETA) http://tinyurl.com/z7dbc44. I don’t know what effect this would have on the activities of CIETA.
There is a petition on Change.org addressed to Mme Fleur Pellerin, the French Minister of Culture and Communication urging that the museum be kept open. Please consider signing the petition at http://tinyurl.com/ngodq9m.
Here’s an article in French explaining more of the situation. http://tinyurl.com/h93pswj