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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

The legacy of lace is followed by the culture of Amish quilts at URI gallery

Media Contact: Jhodi Redlich, 401-874-4500

Lace is the focus of a seminar on 3/25

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 16, 2004 -- This spring, the University of Rhode Island's Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design (TMD) is featuring one new exhibit in celebration of elegant laces followed by one featuring the history and culture of quilts.

Now through April 15, the department's Textile Gallery celebrates the recent generous donation of the famous Mabel Foster Bainbridge Lace Collection with an exhibition created by the program's graduate students in conjunction with their class on lace. The collection was donated by Bainbridge’s son, Robert P. Bainbridge of Chestnut Hill, Mass. The students created the stunning exhibit using objects from the Bainbridge collection and URI’s Historic Textile and Costume Collection combined with fitting descriptions of the history of the pieces.

In "Lace: The Elegant Fabric," students describe the major techniques used in making lace and trace the ways in which lace has been used in the 19th and 20th centuries. One of the cases in the exhibit focuses on Rhode Island's own Leaver's Lace Corp. located in West Greenwich and the modern manufacture of lace. The students toured the company last fall.

This exhibit will be the focus of a short seminar on lace to be held in Quinn Hall on Thursday, March 25th at 4 p.m. Robert Bainbridge and York Roberts of the Leaver's Lace Corp. have been invited, and the program will include short presentations by graduate students on the history and styles of lace.

On April 19, the lace exhibit will be tucked away, and historic quilts will be on display. Professor Linda Welters, who recently finished her year as Othmer Research Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has arranged for an exhibition of Amish quilts at URI this spring. Janneken Smucker, the curator of the exhibit, will speak at URI on "The Midwestern Amish and their Quilts" on Monday, April 19, in Quinn Auditorium at 4 p.m.

Both exhibits and the lecture are free and open to the public. Located on the first floor in Quinn Hall on URI's Kingston Campus, the gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call the textiles department at 874-4574.