“Beaded Glory,” an exhibit of Czech and Slovak folk dress and folk art portraying the artistry and skill of village people in adorning their clothing, will be on display at the Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge from November 5-9. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, November 6, in Imagination Gallery at the museum.
The exhibit will showcase beaded wedding headdresses, embroidered aprons and blouses, intricate dyed and appliqued leather in sheepskin vests, lace-trimmed ritual cloths, and a rare Bohemian wedding vest decorated with hundreds of carved fish scales. Dolls in folk dress will also be on display.
“A hundred years ago, your village dress told so much about you—whether you were young or old, married or single, a widow or a nursing mother, a young man going off to military service, or someone in mourning. The tremendous variety from village to village is amazing,” said Helene Baine Cincebeaux, of Rochester, New York, who is bringing the exhibit to the Children’s Museum.
On display will be full outfits with headdresses and jewelry, showing the wide range of embroidery, beading, lace, leather work, felting, and batik. The exhibit will include pieces made for and worn by children and teens. She will present a slide show at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 8, showcasing Czech and Slovak people, places, and folk art.
Cincebeaux and her late mother, Helen Zemek Baine, collected the folk dress during visits to many villages during 43 years. The collection has been exhibited in museums in a dozen states, including a year-long exhibit in the Mingei Museum of International Folk Art in California.
“We hope the colors and motifs will spark artistic creativity in the children, and adults, who come to the museum,” said Cincebeaux, editor of the quarterly “Slovakia” magazine and a guide of “Treasures of Slovakia” tours for 25 years. Embroiders, lace makers, and other crafts people are welcome to gain inspiration from unique color combinations and techniques. She encourages people to wear something that reflects their own heritage to the November 6 opening.
Her sister, Rosalie Baine, of Atlanta, will bring vintage dolls from the Czech and Slovak Republics dressed by village women in traditional folk dress. Baine will also wear an elaborate folk dress from Slovensky Grob in Slovakia, where villagers imitated the dress of the nobility. Children and adults will have an opportunity to try on hats and headdresses. The sisters will give exhibit tours, identify heirlooms from Eastern and Central Europe, and Cincebeaux will sign her new book, “A Treasury of Slovak Folk Dress.”
Here with the sisters will be Jozef Ivaska, an opera singer and pop song writer, who will perform Czech and Slovak folk songs at the November 6 opening reception. Ivaska left the former Czechoslovakia after an award-winning song he wrote was banned by the then-communist government. He went to Austria, where he sang with the Vienna and Baden Theaters for 20 years, once performing with Placido Domingo. Recently, he has performed concerts and judged “super star” competitions in Europe and Asia.
The Children’s Museum is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, and from 1-4 p.m. Sunday. General admission is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62 and older, and $5 for children ages three-18. Admission is free for children under three and museum members. For more information, call the museum at (865) 482-1074 or see the website at www.childrensmuseumofoakridge.org.