French Chateau Bead Embroidery c1800
Art created by women historically has not been recognized as art - because the artists were women.
The recognition of women’s art was limited to a few outstanding painters who were generally spouses or children of painters, or nuns. Girls were only encouraged to pursue art that was focused on homemaking and family. Fiber arts were virtually ignored by the art establishment. In all societies, worldwide.
Vintage Touch would like to change that by honoring women’s fiber art - by sharing a collection driven by a passion for beadwork, and inspiring women to create more. Beadwork extends beyond jewelry to include applied needlework and mixed media art.
From the 1700s on, beadwork was an integral part of a young girl’s education in needle arts. Beaded Berlin work was one of the most popular forms of embroidery from the late 1700s through the late nineteenth century. Berlin work is characterized by brightly colored silk, wools, and, often, colored glass beads embroidered on various fabrics in myriad patterns.
The resulting work adorned everything from slippers to samplers to cigar cutters in the nineteenth-century home from Victorian England across the European Continent to Tsarist Russia, and reaching across the ocean to both North and South America. Beads were traded and used throughout Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Many of the themes for needle arts and beadwork were allegorical, particularly when it came to remembering loved ones – reflecting the high rates of infant mortality, women dying in childbirth, men dying in wars and revolutions, and the myriad of plagues and diseases that took loved ones.
Classical themes were very popular – thus angels became a frequent image. Themes also included romantic views of daily life or reflected the various art and decorative arts themes – Biedermeier, Rococo, neoclassical, romantic, Victorian, and aesthetic.