Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress

Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 4:00 PM (CST)
Wisconsin Historical Society 816 State Street MadisonWI  53706
Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 4:00 PM (CST)
Wisconsin Historical Society 816 State Street MadisonWI  53706

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About This Activity

Are you interested in identifying, preserving or displaying
knitted or crocheted objects?

Knitted and crocheted objects, works of the hand and heart, provide snapshots of the ethnic traditions and socioeconomic status of the maker and wearer. An infant’s christening gown celebrates an intergenerational milestone. An intricate Shetland shawl or Bohus sweater knit for hire illustrates the often unsung ways women supported their families when male incomes disappeared. A sock, knit during wartime, connects the maker at home to the warrior at the front.

These often humble and utilitarian items were worn, passed down from generation to generation and sometimes donated to a local or regional museum. Many museums have these items in their collections but are unsure how to preserve, categorize and display them.

Join us to explore:
    •    Engaging a segment of the population not now actively being served.
    •    Using the internet to build a dynamic relationship between museums and knitters around the world
    •    Harnessing skilled expertise, not necessarily available from staff or consultants, to allow passionate practitioners to share their knowledge and so elevate the status and appreciation of knit and crochet.

Symposium attendees will:
    •    View a special exhibit created by the curators of the Wisconsin Historic Society’s Textiles and Costume Collection and UW-Madison’s Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection.
    •    Participate in interactive forums and discussion groups to develop a vision and collection scope for an initiative to preserve, document and share knitted and crocheted objects.
    •    Hear speakers including Dr. Susan Strawn, author of Knitting America: A Glorious Heritage from Warm Socks to High Art, and Melissa Leventon, principal of Curatrix Group Museum Consultants and Appraisers; Consultant to the new Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles in Bangkok (opened May 9, 2012).

Who Should Attend
    •    Textile museum curators, textile researchers and students
    •    State and local history professionals
    •    Yarn industry professionals
    •    Knitting and Crochet designers
    •    Art patrons and collectors
    •    Custodians of knitted or crocheted objects
    •    Women’s Studies researchers
    •    Passionate practitioners
And anyone who has ever thought that Knitting and Crochet deserved a museum, but didn't know where to start.


Knitting Heritage Museum: A Work in Progress
Making the Case for Collecting, Preserving, Researching,
and Sharing Our Knitting and Crochet Heritage

November 8 - 10, 2012

In Association with The Wisconsin Historical Society
and Sponsored by The Yarn Group of TNNA,


Location: Wisconsin Historical Society, Lobby
816 State Street, Madison, WI

4:00 - 5:00 pm  

5:00 - 5:45 pm
Welcoming Reception sponsored by Wisconsin Historic Foundation
Opening of Curators’ Choice Exhibit

Location: Wisconsin Historical Society, Auditorium

5:45 - 6:30 pm
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Dr. Ellsworth Brown, Ruth and Hartley Barker Director, Wisconsin Historical Society
Karen D. Kendrick-Hands, J.D., Symposium Chair
Leslie Bellais, Curator, Department of Textiles and Costume, Wisconsin Historical Society; Maya Lea, Curator, Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection, School of Human Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

6:30 – 7:15 pm
"The Knitting Image: Popular Media, Art, and Industry Look at American Knitters." Susan Strawn, Ph.D., Knitter, author of Knitting America: From Warm Socks to High Art [insert pub and date] and Professor, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Dominican University, River Forest, IL


Location: University of Wisconsin Memorial Union Great Hall
800 Langdon Street, Madison, WI

8:00 – 9:00 am
Registration, Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:10 am
Welcome and Introductions (again?)

9:10 – 10:00 am
Keynote Address
“So You Want to Start A Museum”
Melissa Leventon, Principal of Curatrix Group Museum Consultants and Appraisers, former Curator-in-Charge of Textiles, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 

10:00 - 10:40 am
“A Virtual Knitting Museum: Theory and Practice”
Jennifer Lindsay, Program Coordinator, The Smithsonian Community Reef, a Satellite Reef of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef created for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, 2010-11

IT Specialist TBD

10:40 – 11:00 am

11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Panel Discussion: The Value of Heritage and Why It Matters

  • Susan Strawn, Ph.D., Knitter, author of "Knitting America: From Warm Socks to High Art", and Professor, Apparel Design and Merchandising, Dominican University, River Forest, IL;
  • Trisha Malcolm, VP and Editorial Director, Vogue Knitting [invited];
  • IT Specialist -TBD.;
  • Jack Blumenthal, VP Lion Brand Yarn;
  • Karen Kendrick-Hands, J.D., Symposium Chair

12:00 -12:30
Open Forum for Comments and Questions

12:45 – 1:30 pm
Lunch, Tripp Commons

2:15 – 3:45 pm
Breakout Sessions (see Event Schedule for Location Information)

3:45 – 4:00 pm

4:00 – 4:30 pm
Reporting from the Breakout Sessions

5:00 – 6:00 pm
Wine and Cheese Reception
Location: Wisconsin Historical Society


Location: Lowell Center
610 Langdon Street, Madison, WI

8:00 – 8:30 am
Continental Breakfast

8:45 am – 12:00 pm
Facilitated Planning Session

12:00 -12:45 pm

12:45 - 1:30 pm
Conclusion and Next Steps

2:00 – 4:00 pm
Wisconsin Book Festival
Meet and Greet Knitting and Crochet Authors and Designers for Book Signing at this popular annual event..
Wisconsin Historical Society Lobby

Full registration includes: All Sessions, Thursday's Welcome Reception, Friday's Wine and Cheese Reception, Breakfasts, Lunches, and all Breaks, on both Friday and Saturday. 

Full Registration Early Bird discount for $175 through September 5
Full Registration $195 September 6 to Nov. 7
On Site Registration $215.

To be eligible for Student Registration at a reduced rate, you must be enrolled as a full or part-time student in a 2 or 4 year program at the undergraduate level, or a graduate level master's or doctoral program.  If you satisfy these requirements, please email knitheritagemuseum at gmail dot com, with your student information.

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Map & Direction

Thursday, November 8, 2012 @ 4:00 PM (CST)
Wisconsin Historical Society 816 State Street MadisonWI  53706
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