Lace and status

The collection of historical lace in the Textilmuseum St. Gallen

26.10.2018 – 10.02.2019

The exhibition is devoted to historical lace from the period 1500 to 1800. These exquisite textiles, for many centuries reserved purely for the top classes of society such as the aristocracy and the clergy, originally came into the ownership of the Textilmuseum as models for the booming East Swiss textile industry. Today the museum can boast a lace collection of international standing.

„Lace and Status” focuses on the fashion in lace as worn at the courts of Spain and France, which in their time called the tune in politics, culture and fashion in Europe. The show includes more than 160 historical textiles from different epochs and styles, which illustrate the development of lace from its beginnings in the sixteenth until the end of the eighteenth century and place them in the context of contemporary trends in fashion. Among the exhibits are the rarely shown seventeenth-century chasuble and a resplendent cover originally owned by the Spanish court.

The Textilmuseum St. Gallen owes its exquisite lace collection to the flourishing East Swiss textile industry, which in the late nineteenth century exported its embroidery across the world. The famous “St Gallen lace” was fashioned imitating types of historical lace that had been specifically collected by manufacturers in order to imitate them on the machine. These and other types of historical lace are now kept in the Textilmuseum St. Gallen, which with its inventory of more than 5000 lace items has at its disposal a collection of international standing.

Curator: Barbara Karl
Exhibition design: Meierkolb

Our thanks go to Steinegg Stiftung,  Ortsbürgergemeinde St.Gallen and Kulturförderung des Kantons St.Gallen / Swisslos