Claire Nicholas, assistant professor of textiles and material culture in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Department of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design, will give a free public lecture at noon Jan. 19 in the Home Economics Building, Room 31.
The lecture is in conjunction with the exhibition “Domestic Interiors: Hand Needlework and the Cult of True Womanhood in 19th Century American Quilts,” showing through Jan. 20 in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.
Nicholas will discuss the parallels between the role of needlework in 19th century American women’s education and in 19th and 20th century Moroccan women’s education. The talk will draw on ethnographic fieldwork, archival and collections-based research conducted in Morocco and France over the past decade.
Nicholas holds a doctoral degree in socio-cultural anthropology from Princeton University and a Diploma of Profound Studies from Paris’ School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and recently completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the University of Alberta’s Department of Human Ecology. She has conducted fieldwork in Morocco and across North America ranging from artisanal textile workshops to university architecture studios.
“Domestic Interiors” documents the remarkable hand-quilting and embroidery found in many 19th-century American quilts. Using digital macro photography, Sarah Walcott explores the ways in which women’s education, along with social and cultural norms, shaped their experiences, identities and creative lives. Walcott, a graduate student in Nebraska’s quilt studies/material culture program, created the collection of original photographs of hand-quilting and curated the selection of quilts as part of her master’s thesis work.
Nicholas’ lecture is supported by Humanities Nebraska, a statewide nonprofit organization inspiring and enriching personal and public life by offering opportunities to thoughtfully engage with history and culture.
The Hillestad Gallery is on the second floor of the Home Economics building, 1650 N. 35th St. Guest parking is available near the building and metered stalls are located in the Nebraska East Union lot. The gallery is open free to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment.