August 3rd, 2008
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Mazonnawar Citadel
Relevent story in a way in my jewspaper today about feminism and it's retarded goals to destroy civilization.
Aprons capture 100 years of homemaking
By: Bill Redekop
Updated: August 3 at 12:25 AM CDT
NEUBERGTHAL -- What is an apron, Mom?
That should be a simple question. Instead, it cuts through one hundred years of feminism and social history.
"An apron was once worn all day," explained Karen Martens, co-curator of an exhibit on aprons and their expression as a feminine art form.
"I don't think a woman got up in the morning without an apron on. It was to protect your dress. They didn't have many dresses" and only washed every two to three weeks.
Then aprons started to disappear with the advent of washing machines and other technological advances, as well as larger wardrobes. With the advent of modern feminism, they came to be a viewed as symbol of domestic servitude.
"My kids will never remember me with an apron on, but I remember my mom and grandma with aprons on," Martens said.
The catalyst to the exhibit was artist Margruite Krahn's discovery of a box of clothes in the attic of an old herdsman's building. Included were a dozen bright, colourful aprons nearly a century old.
To indulge in art was considered a waste of time in the Mennonite community back then, Krahn said. "So women expressed themselves artistically through sewing, including aprons."
Aprons came in many decorative forms, including gingham (checked fabric) with decorative stitching; appliqu © (where an ornament is cut from cloth and overlaid on the material); and crocheted aprons, like one on display made by a grandmother for her granddaughter. Some were made from flour sacks or sugar sacks -- the latter were made of stiffer, coarser material.
There were bibbed aprons and smock aprons (pullover). "They used older aprons to cook, and, when guests arrived, would throw on their special occasion aprons," Martens said.
Aprons mirrored the fashions they were trying to protect. "Notice the length," Martens said. "The older ones are quite long. As you get into the 1950s and '60s, they get shorter."
Aprons have evolved into the barbecue aprons of today with slogans and advertisements, she said.
The apron had many functions besides protecting clothes. Women would pick up the corners and make a basket for collecting eggs, vegetables or kindling. It was used as a pot holder, for wiping hands, for hiding shy children, and to quickly dust furniture when unexpected company arrived.
The exhibit of about 50 aprons runs until Sept. 30 in Friesen Housebarn and Interpretive Centre in Neubergthal, a heritage village 10 minutes southeast of Altona. The exhibit's run coincides with that of the new Gallery in the Park in Altona.
Viewing is by appointment, except for the Sept. 6-7 weekend, when it will be open for the Pembina Valley Artists Tour. Otherwise, call Karen Martens, 1-204-324-1567 or Margruite Krahn, 1-204-324-1612 for an appointment.