Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections

I remember my mom wore them in the kitchen while she prepared all kinds of yummy dishes.

Many years ago the apron was a wardrobe fixture that often reflected the roles, personality, and social ethos of its owner.

Now Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections presented at the Women’s Museum: An Institute for the Future in Dallas, TX is showcasing the former trend.

Located at 3800 Parry Avenue the exhibit will be on display through May 14th, Tues.-Sun. noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 with discounts for seniors and children.

The traveling exhibit is comprised of photos, text in story form, and 200 vintage aprons.

Prompted by project writer and apron curator EllynAnne Geisel, the contributors to Apron Chronicles recalls a woman who’d worn an apron and what she represented to a family; and event when an apron was worn; recipes; values and traditions from gentler, less complicated times; the bond between parent and child; survival; friendship; opportunity; challenge, and modern perspective.

Since that time aprons have graduated to include males with sayings inscribed on them like: Kiss The Cook with deep pockets, more masculine, and taking away from any allure or charm that the feminine apron possessed.

The diverse contributors to the exhibit include a 111-year-old mother and her only child, a Holocaust survivor, a biology professor from Mali, Africa, and a preteen and her grandma.

While writer Geisel is honored to be the voice behind the exhibit, photographer Kristina Loggia has preserved the storytellers’ images in an environmental style that complements the unadorned honesty of their recollections.

With Apron Chronicles as the vehicle, collaborators Geisel and Loggia are providing prompts that will have exhibit visitors recalling and sharing their own apron recollections, which unless heard soon, the organization says are in peril of disappearing forever.

The apron has crossed over all racial lines and cultural divides.

The cardinal rule of the apron is you never wear it outside the house.

“I believe my aprons keep me with my grandmother all the time even when some day she’s gone forever,” said Cheye Pagel. “My grandmother got me involved with aprons.”

“Just like June Cleaver and Donna Reed Mom dressed up to stay home and no outfit was complete without the appropriate apron,” said Ronnie Crawford. “Mom’s Monday washday ritual is one of my fondest childhood memories and I think it’s because wrapped up in that magical apron notion was also this sense of feeling safe under her watchful eye.”

For more information on the exhibit call 214-915-0860.

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