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Title

Women who toiled, from The D'Oyley Show

1979


Artists

Women's Domestic Needlework Group, Sydney

Australia

Marie McMahon

Australia

1953 -

Frances Phoenix

Australia

1950 - 2017


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.


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


Artist information

Women's Domestic Needlework Group, Sydney

Works in the collection

10

Artist information

Marie McMahon

Works in the collection

25

Artist information

Frances Phoenix

Works in the collection

10


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


See you at the barricades, Sydney, 2015, 47.

Project 39 - Women's Imprint, Sydney, 1982. no catalogue numbers; not paginated