Welcome again all friends of Mountmellick Embroidery and Heritage Museum. We hope that this finds you all well, staying safe and enjoying the fine weather. As the national vaccine programme continues to roll out, we hope that you are sharing and experiencing the new sense of hope and expectation that is emanating from its dissemination. Given that internal travel restrictions are easing, we all now have an opportunity not only to meet Family \ Friends again, but to also explore and appreciate the many beautiful places that Ireland has to offer as we staycation.
One of the few positive effects of Covid over the last year or so, was to open up new opportunities for us all, as people now found time to focus on activities which in normal times would be consigned to their wish list of things to do. Thus many have come to know and appreciate the soothing effect of needlework, painting, crafting, gardening etc. realizing how the slow repetitive process allows one’s mind to rest and disconnect from the hectic pace of life which for many of us was a pre covid norm. The benefits accruing for many include, improved mood, rest and relaxation, mindfulness, comfort and solace of these creative pastimes can be so healing and therapeutic. In that vein we look forward to the resumption of the embroidery classes in the autumn. However, on a cautionary note, while the signs are extremely promising for which great credit is due to the many individuals who diligently complied with all Covid guidelines, we still have a way to go. Let us all stay the course and finish the journey together.
We welcome back Ivana and congratulate her and husband Hrvoje on the birth of their son Fran. One of Ivana's many tasks will be the launching our new Museum online shop which initially will be offering all of the requirements for Mountmellick Embroidery, i.e. materials, needles, thread, patterns, also on offer will be a selection of books relating to Mountmellick Embroidery, and local history in which our town is steeped. Why not pay our website a visit and browse a little? Museum Online Shop
While closed during the pandemic, while complying with all Covid regulations, our committee have not been resting on their laurels, and have been very active, planning, researching and continuing with the upgrading and refurbishment of our Museum. We are so looking forward to showing it off to you. For further details of our endeavours over the last twelve months, and our reopening plans I am handing you over to Marie Walsh who will fill you in on the details.
Stay well, keep safe, hope to see you soon.
Over to you Marie.
The Mountmellick Embroidery and Heritage Museum committee is very pleased to announce that our funding application to The Heritage Council, under The Community Heritage Grant Scheme 2021 has been successful, ( as reported recently in The Leinster Express ).
This funding of €11,350 for our Museum Conservation Project 2021 will provide two new digital productions for in-house use, on social media and our website. It will also fund site visits, consultations and reports by professional textile and paper conservators.
This year's project will build-on and add-to the large renovation works carried out last year, funded by the Dept. Culture, Heritage, Gaeltacht, The Heritage Council and Mountmellick Development Association Ltd. The continued support from The Heritage Council will enable us to conserve and exhibit the collections including new acquisitions to the highest museum standards of best practice. It will also hugely improve the visitor experience as we relate 'the stories' in the transformed museum space.
Our museum vision looks firmly to the future, but it is deeply rooted in the past. The main focus of the museum is to conserve and exhibit original and contemporary pieces of Mountmellick Embroidery, to promote it as a living craft art form, and to protect the memory of Mountmellick's rich Quaker industrial, education and craft heritage.
Mountmellick Embroidery is unique as it is the only form of embroidery from the nineteenth century which is entirely Irish in origin and design. It's importance in social history is immense, as is the history and stories of the dynamic women who created, taught and fostered it through the ages. In 2019 it was added to The National Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Currently we are offering a very restricted access to the museum, with limited numbers and strictly by prior appointment only. We apologize for the inconvenience and disappointment caused. We hope with the completion of some works and following the conservators on-site visits during July we may be able to open more conveniently in August. We plan to hold some events to celebrate the launch of our 'New Look' museum, pay tribute to Sr. Teresa Margaret and her revival of Mountmellick Embroidery 50 years ago, to celebrate National Craft Week, to participate in DCCI's August Month of Craft, and to Launch our new Acquisition. Preparations and work on these events are on-going, but of course will all be subject to the prevailing government guidelines. We look forward to welcoming locals and visitors back then and sharing all 'The Stories'.
In Jane Houston-Almquivst's book 'Mountmellick Work, Irish White Embroidery', published in 1985, Jane wrote, "I am not alone in hoping that someday we may have a textile museum in Ireland, where good examples of our rich textile heritage - the weaving, the laces, the embroideries, patchwork, quilting, knitting,- could be on display and there would be study facilities as well. Perhaps this survey will be one more brick in the foundation."
We hope our evolving Mountmellick museum is a strong cornerstone in that foundation.
A few images of our new look Museum
Author Clodagh Grubb admiring the original samplers holding a copy of her book on samplers which is on sale in our museum shop