Exhibitions promote lace and mechanical music instruments making in Mirecourt
A musical journey through the collection of mechanical music instruments

The manufacture of mechanical music instruments started in Mirecourt about 1740 with the production of 'serinettes', a small barrel organ designed to teach canaries some short melodies. Production was carried out for two centuries, and ceased in 1954 when the last workshop of organ making closed down.
The exhibition shows a remarkable collection of instruments tracing back the history of sound automation over two centuries: Serinettes of Mirecourt, street organs and hurdy-gurdies, player piano and musical boxes with crystal-clear sound. Salon or band music, fair and popular dance music, including the re-creation of the atmosphere of American piano-bars and Flemish cafés, are some of the highlights of this fairy-like voyage.

Discovery of Mirecourt delicate laces

Bobbin lace appeared in Mirecourt in the late sixteenth century. It soon became a source of income for the women and girls of craftsmen and peasants, and made the wealth of Mirecourt merchants. During the twentieth century, this activity ceased to be an economic resource, but remained a valuable asset of the town heritage and know-how, and is still quite alive today. The exhibition presents also some works of contemporary artists who are inspired by lace or more generally by textile arts.

Lace between preservation and transmission

Based on the presentation of mats, furniture and clothing pieces, the visitors are made aware of the difficulty to preserve such fragile textile heritage: how to protect such pieces from deterioration? Then, they discover and test this ancestral know-how with the help of a touch-sensitive bench where are presented some materials, stitches and tools used for hand making lace. A video terminal explains the various gestures of the lace maker.

The pieces exhibited are kindly made available by the Association "Renouveau et promotion de la dentelle de Mirecourt" (Revival and promotion of Mirecourt lace).

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