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Title

Women who toiled , from The D'Oyley Show

1979

Artists

Marie McMahon

Australia

1953 -

Frances Phoenix

Australia

1950 - 2017

  • Details

    Date
    1979
    Media category
    Print
    Materials used
    colour screenprint on thin white wove paper
    Dimensions
    72.8 x 48.0 cm image; 79.1 x 51.3 cm sheet
    Credit
    Purchased 1981
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    175.1981.1
    Copyright
    © Marie McMahon and Frances (Budden) Phoenix with the Women's Domestic Needlework Group

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Women's Domestic Needlework Group, Sydney

    Works in the collection

    10

    Artist information
    Marie McMahon

    Works in the collection

    26

    Artist information
    Frances Phoenix

    Works in the collection

    10

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  • About

    The cottage industry of bobbin lacemaking, which began in Italy in the 1500s, had a long history of exploitation, including slavery, throughout Europe from the 1600s onwards. Women who held 'lace secrets' were often abducted and forced to work in wretched conditions and seldom lived beyond 30. Some European governments set up schools, forcing young girls from five to 16 to work for meagre wages, until the French banned the practice due to its association with the aristocracy during the French Revolution.

    'Women who toiled' depicts lacemakers at work, hemmed in by the result of their labour. It compels the viewer to see beyond the beauty of exquisitely-worked lace, and understand the chequered history of this most genteel of arts.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

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