The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 21, 2024

Venetian Lace Table Setting: Placemat

Venetian Lace Table Setting: Placemat

Location: not on view


When Dr. George Washington Crile, a founder of the Cleveland Clinic, and his wife, Grace McBride Crile, had elegant dinner parties in the 1930s, guests would surely have admired this luxurious handmade lace table setting. Lively figural scenes surrounded by leafy scrolls form twelve place mats and the table runner. Matching napkins and doilies, used under finger bowls or on place plates, display the elaborate monogram G McB C. Lace is a decorative openwork fabric made by outlining holes to form a design. The more solid design areas, enriched with small ornamental holes, contrast with the more open background -- here a mesh of octagons and squares. Made by hand around 1930 in Venice, the raised almost sculptural outlines of the motifs reflect the flamboyant style and technique of opulent 17th-century Venetian needle lace. Developed in Europe around 1500, lace was a prestigious luxury fabric that privileged men and women showed off in portraits. The museum’s collection of early lace is ranked the best in the world by lace scholars. Lace is rarely made by hand anymore, a fact lamented in the medical field. Lace provides the ideal foundation for organs such as ears to regenerate; ears grow around the lace. Elizabeth Crile’s Wedding Reception, 1927 Dr. and Mrs. George W. Crile’s Dining Room 2620 Derbyshire Road, Cleveland Heights Elizabeth Crile is seated beside her husband, Dr. Augustus Crisler, in her parents’ dining room. Lace runners and doilies add elegance to the opulent table. Her proud father stands second from the right. The house was at the top of Cedar Hill where Cedar Hill Baptist Church stands today.
  • Grace McBride Crile
  • {{cite web|title=Venetian Lace Table Setting: Placemat|url=false|author=|year=1930s|access-date=21 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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