ANTIQUES; The Dowry, Wherein Love Meets Money

Then the dowry is where the two intersect if, as Jane Austen’s novels tell us, life is about love and money.

Dowries — the home that the bride’s family members provides her spouse upon the wedding — will be the topic of the new event at the Mingei Global Museum of Folk Art in north park. Centering on dowries in Eastern Europe, the show offers a romantic view of domestic life in the area through the 1850’s to World War II, with a few fascinating anthropology thrown in.

The show, which operates through might, possesses range that is full of hand-woven textiles that young girls labored over for decades for his or her trousseaus; they do not call it a hope upper body for absolutely nothing. Included are 30 items of painted furniture, that has been usually section of a dowry; photographs of such furniture is visible in  »Painted Furniture » by Nancy Schiffer (Schiffer Publishing), out this season.

The textiles come from the assortment of Helene Baine Cincebeaux along with her mom, Helen Zemek Baine, whom traveled to remote villages in Slovakia, Moravia and Bohemia into the 1960’s and 70’s in search of wedding crowns, sleep hangings, shawls and christening gowns.

 »Women would invite us home and start their cupboards to us, » Mrs. Cincebeaux said.  »Everything could be here, perhaps the gown they wished to be hidden in. Each village had its traditions. They certainly were textiles that are ceremonial. There were birthing cloths that might be hung with garlic to reduce the chances of evil spirits and christening cloths that signified, ‘we are depriving them of a pagan and bringing back once again a Christian.’  »

Joyce Corbett, visitor curator regarding the north park show, stated:  »Women offered Helene their prized wedding crowns, bed curtains and dowry clothing because they thought they could be valued in the usa. They stated that brides don’t desire to be hitched in old-fashioned costumes.

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