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Crowning Glory: A Feast of Slovak & Moravian Headdresses

August 28, 2021 – February 27, 2022

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August 28, 2021 - February 27, 2022

Smith Gallery

Slovak and Moravian folk dress (kroje) is stunning, with each piece more beautiful than the last. A full kroj is made up of many components, including skirts, aprons, vests, and sashes. Each region and village may have a different style of folk dress. This exhibit will focus on the crowning glory: the headdress. Nearly 100 Slovak and Moravian headdresses will be on display. Hours of labor and generations of meaning, mystique, and creativity are infused in each treasured heirloom.

Many of the most elaborate headdresses are actually bridal caps. Some caps are embellished with mirrors as an added protection against evil – if a jealous villager shoots the “evil eye” at the bride, the evil will hit the mirror and go back to the sender. Others have intricate beadwork in a range of colors and shapes, while another style exhibits silk flowers and yards of embroidered ribbon. An important part of the wedding rites occurs when the bride is “capped.” Her bridal headdress is ceremonially removed by her mother, godmother, or bridesmaids and replaced with a cap or headscarf that signifies her status as a married woman.

Helene Cincebeaux and her mother, Helen Zemek Baine, spent five decades visiting villages in Slovakia. They were invited into homes to see beautiful hand decorated textiles as well as hear fascinating stories, memories, and legends behind the pieces. Their purchases on these trips led to the Baine-Cincebeaux Collection of Slovak Folk Dress and Folk Art. The collection has more than 5,000 pieces and has been exhibited all over the United States and the world.

Sponsored in part by BetterLife

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