Sansepolcro Saturday Night

This is a photo essay produced in conjunction with the article XV Biennale Internazionale del Merletto: Crossbows and Crossed Paths in Sansepolcro, which will appear in the Spring 2013 issue of The Bulletin, mailed quarterly to members of the International Organization of Lace, Inc.

 How Bad can a Good Girl Get? She Shoulda Said 'NO'! But She Didn't! 

I made my husband visit the XV Biennale Internazionale del Merletto in Sansepolcro, Italy on his vacation. Perhaps it was selfish. I feel a little guilty about it. 

While there, we noticed that many of the shop windows seemed to have movie posters like this one that were suggestive of American movies of the past, but that all seemed to have veiled and not so veiled references to marijuana. Part of the charm of traveling in a foreign land is that you never fully understand what is going on. Sansepolcro is a festival town which has a crossbow festival and a lace festival. Were there other festivals we were not aware of?


The most helpful poster in Sansepolcro. Tacked to the door of the Scuola di Merletto di Palazzo Pretorio, it gives all the locations of the exhibits.

The statue of the Lacemaker outside the lace school.

A pretty good sculpture of a lace pillow.

The youth of Sansepolcro willingly don festive attire for a Saturday night.

American parents have it easy. They don't have to negotiate a medieval walled city in order to drop off their children for wholesome activities.

The theme of the XV Biennale Internazionale del Merletto was "Il Merletto, simbolo dell'emancipatzione Femminile", Lace: symbol of the Emancipation of woman. The theme was chosen in honor of the 600th anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc. 

Joan of Arc, was certainly heroic, but let's have a shout-out for Daniela Bencini of Italy for demonstrating a mastery of an heroic number of lace techniques all incorporated in this work.

She may not be Joan of Arc, but Madame Curie also came in for an homage, courtesy of Giuseppina Bernasconi, of Italy.

Emancipation equals Freedom, by Manuela Baita of Italy. OK, first off, I thought that this piece might be one that could have been produced prior to the announcement of the theme or for some other theme, or no theme at all, since it depicts a lacemaker. The lacemaker is a pretty standard theme, and if you wait a couple of years, undoubtedly someone will announce an opportunity to display images of the Lacemaker. But, then I found myself thinking about it a little more, and I realized that it was really pretty profound. After all, most lacemakers in history have produced lace for money, as a result of where they were born, and to what economic class they were born. It is only recently that women have had the freedom to make lace for pleasure, and for artistic expression.

Some were very abstract, such as Women in the Whirl, by Leja Tominec of the Idrija school in Slovenia.

 Some took the Joan of Arc theme very seriously.

Some didn't have a lot of lace in them, but were nonetheless effective. 

 Some did have a lot of lace in them.

Olwyn Scott of Australia had so many ideas she had to make a book of them.

Exhibit of wedding lace by textile manufacturer Arnaldo Caprai.

The 20 year old futurist poetess and painter from Foligno, Leandra Angelucci Cominazzini, wore this dress on her wedding day, June 9th, 1910. Leandra certainly collaborated on its Art Nouveau style design.

The deconsecrated church of Santa Chiasa is perfect for a lace display.

This lace displays a high level of technical proficiency. I am a push over for birds with three dimensional wings!

Fanciful lace head pieces and religious art go well together.

A display of lace jewelry looks devotional in this setting.

Designer Rosy Garbo brings lace fashion up to date.

Children assemble in the Piazza to be living game pieces on a game board. But who will be throwing the giant die?

Things get happy at the Happy Bar.

A rocking Sansepolcro Saturday night. We happened to visit on the night of Alla Luce del Sole, Spettacoli d'arte per le vie del Borgo.

Memorabilia of my trip to the XV Biennale Internazionale del Merletto. Next time I will enter!




















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