Fifty thousand lacemakers, led by four determined women, worked to keep the Belgian lacemaking tradition alive during WWI. Their endeavours created the distinctive style known as “war lace”, with its symbolic references to the invasion and occupation of Belgium. Many noted Belgian artists, two famine-relief organisations, and one future president of the United States played crucial roles in preserving this national art form in the midst of a brutal war.
This catalog documents the Royal Museums of Art and History’s collection of war lace. It also recounts the history of the endeavour, the leaders and artists involved, and the symbolism of the designs, as expertly interpreted by Ria Cooreman (Curator of Textiles, Royal Museums of Art and History, Brussels) and Evelyn McMillan (Librarian Emerita, Stanford University, California).