"Treasured Threads: Nordic Lace" Opens July 21 at ASI

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, July 19, 2012


MINNEAPOLIS — JULY 19, 2012 — Lace holds a special place in the traditions of the Nordic countries. Historically, lacemaking was practiced by ordinary farm girls and skilled, paid craftspeople alike. Lace was often tied to special occasions; weddings in particular were a time to prepare elaborately trimmed garments for both bride and groom. The American Swedish Institute (ASI) presents a new exhibit, Treasured Threads: Nordic Lace, which will be on display July 21, 2012 –Jan. 13, 2013 in the newly renovated Lower Level Gallery in the Turnblad Mansion. The exhibit features lace in various styles from the Nordic countries and highlights pieces from the collections of Österlens Museum in Skåne, representing the unique work of a group of skilled women who practiced their craft in that Swedish region. Items in the exhibit are also on loan from local collectors.

In conjunction with the exhibit, ASI is proud to welcome Lena Alebo, Director of Österlens Museum. During her visit, Alebo will give several presentations—at ASI as well as at partner organizations in the Twin Cities— revealing the elaborate and exciting world of lace in southern Sweden. Österlens Museum is a cultural history museum in southeastern Skåne, Sweden’s southernmost province. Alebo is a trained archeologist and ethnologist who has worked as an educator in museums from Östersund in northern Sweden to the medieval castle Glimmingehus in the south. She first became acquainted with bobbin lace during her internship at Österlens Museum in the 1970s.

Related Programming

“Pillows and Pins in Southern Sweden”
Talk by Lena Alebo, Director of Österlens Museum

Tuesday,  Aug. 7 — noon–1 p.m.

Skåne in the 1800s was home to a community of gifted, enterprising women. Lace patterns and artistry were passed from mother to daughter, and tools and materials were homemade; linen thread was spun from the flax grown in one’s fields, and lace was made atop a roller filled with tightly packed hair from the family’s cows and pigs.

Speaker Lena Alebo is the director of Österlens Museum, a cultural history museum in southwestern Skåne, Sweden. For this talk, she will be joined by her daughter, dressed in period lace-adorned costume. She’ll present in the new Folke Bernadotte Conference Room; attendees are invited to purchase lunch in the café and bring it into the talk. The presentation is included with museum admission, but please call 612-871-4907 to RSVP.

Guest in the Gallery: Lena Alebo

Tuesday,  Aug. 7 — 3–6 p.m.

Lena Alebo, director of Österlens Museum, a cultural history museum in Sweden, will be a Guest in the Gallery on Tuesday, Aug. 7, illuminating highlights from the Treasured Threads exhibit. She will be joined by local lacemaker Nancy Wellington, who will demonstrate the art of lacemaking. Included with museum admission.

Lena Alebo at Ingebretsen’s

Wednesday,  Aug. 8 — 10–11 a.m.

Lena Alebo will visit Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts on Lake Street in Minneapolis, where she’ll give an informal “Kaffe Talk” about lace in Scandinavia. For details, visit www.ingebretsens.com/events/ or call 612-729-9333.

Lena Alebo at IOLI Convention

Wednesday,  Aug. 8 — 6:30 p.m.

Lena Alebo will present the illustrated talk “The Lacemakers Corner” at the International Old Lacers Inc. Convention at the Crowne Plaza in St. Paul (11 E. Kellogg Blvd). The talk, which is open to the public, will turn the spotlight on the surprisingly rich social and economic history of lacemaking in southern Sweden. For details:

Lacemaking Demonstrations

Saturdays, July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 22, Oct. 27, Nov. 10, Dec. 8, and Jan. 12 — noon–3 p.m.

Members of the Minnesota Lace Society will demonstrate a variety of types of lace making on one Saturday each month during the run of the Treasured Threads exhibit (July through January). Join us on one of seven Saturdays between noon and 3 p.m. in the Lower Level Gallery. These activities are included with museum admission.

The Minnesota Lace Society was organized in 1977 in response to the growing popularity of fiber arts in general, with an interest focusing on lace. The goals of the Society are education, technical skill-building and the enjoyment of lace for members as well as for the public. For many years, Society members have demonstrated at the State Fair and at the Festival of Nations.

High resolution images are available. Please email Jenn at jenns@ASImn.org.

The American Swedish Institute (ASI) is a vibrant arts and cultural organization, museum, and historic home located at 2600 Park Avenue near downtown Minneapolis. ASI attracts more than 65,000 people each year for tours of the landmark 1908 Turnblad Mansion, exhibits, classes and events that connect the community to contemporary Nordic culture and cultural heritage. Founded in 1929 by Swedish immigrant newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad, ASI serves as a gathering place for people to share stories and experiences around universal themes of tradition, migration, craft and the arts, all informed by enduring ties to Sweden. Museum hours: Tue., Thu., Fri., Sun. 12–5 p.m., Wed. 12–8 p.m., and Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Museum admission: $7, $6 ages 62+, $4 ages 6-18 and students with ID. For more information, visit ASImn.org.


Press Contact Name: 
Jenn Stromberg