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* NEW 2019 Schedule *
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Thanks to everyone who participated in The Civilian Symposium and The Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860's Conference through all the years!
Website revised February 26, 2019
The Genteel Arts Academy was founded in 1988 to encourage interest in the clothing worn during the Civil War era; concentrating on historically accurate sewing techniques. The Academy offers a continuing series of lectures and hands-on seminars on all aspects of Civil War clothing and needlework. Students select from over 100 topics which are offered on a rotating schedule based on popularity.
Classes are held at various locations across the US and occasionally in the Gettysburg area. Future classes can be scheduled in your area of the country. Please contact the Academy for further details concerning scheduling seminars and classes in your area.
Genteel Arts, LLC does NOT manufacture Civil War period clothing for resale. The company focus is instruction on the history of period clothing and teaching students how to accurately reproduce it via hands-on workshops, seminars and lectures.
GENTEEL ARTS ACADEMY is pleased to announce our 2019 schedule of classes, presentations and conferences on Victorian period clothing and culture. Anyone interested in Victorian fashion, history, sewing, needlework and material culture will find these events very educational.
All hands-on workshops include a review of the history of the garment and a study of specific design characteristics used during the period. Students then sew the garment using period fitting and construction techniques. A workbook including historical information, a suggested reading list and sewing instructions is included with the registration fee.
We suggest registering for any listed event well in advance of the activity date as many fill up quickly.
2019 GENTEEL ARTS SCHEDULE
* Check location carefully, the 2019 schedule includes classes, presentations and conferences at various locations around the US *
PRESENTATION: City of Bowie Museums Celebration of Women’s History Month, Belair Mansion, Bowie, MD, March 23, 2019. Carolann will be speaking on Underneath the Layers: How and Why Mid-Nineteenth Century Women Dressed as They Did. The fashionable silhouette is often created by the layers worn underneath the dress. These layers work together to create a system of protection and support; they also provide many details of the daily lives of the women who wore them. The program also includes Dr. Ann Wass discussing Keeping Up with the Europeans: Women’s Fashions 1795-1820, and Andrew Och who will present “Unusual for the Their Time”, speaking about the First Ladies who helped get their husbands elected to the highest office in the land. 12 PM - 3:30 PM, Free, no reservations required.
CLASS: Mantles in Minnesota, St. Joseph, MN, April 27-28, 2019. Mantles were one of the most common outergarments worn in the mid-nineteenth century, infinitely variable in style and flattering for any figure. The styles offered in this class can be adapted for use c.1830-1870 and will be different in style from mantles offered in other Genteel Arts classes this year. Participants may opt to make a warm mantle for cool temperatures, a sheer summer mantle, or an elegant evening mantle. Instructions to modify the basic shape and the embellishments for each style will ensure your mantle will be different from those made by other participants. Contact us for additional information and registration.
PRESENTATION & EXTENSIVE DISPLAY: Civil War Remembrance Weekend, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI, May 25-27, 2019. Spend Memorial Day weekend immersed in living history as military groups, civilians, musicians and expert historians provide demonstrations, exhibits and special commemorations. Carolann will be one of several speakers and will also participate in an extensive display of original garments, accessories, and artifacts. Additional information at www.thehenryford.org
CONFERENCE: ALHFAM International Conference, Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, Midland, Ontario, Canada, June 8-12, 2019. The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums presents their 49th annual conference with an extensive program of presentations, workshops, tours, and other events. Carolann will teach a hands-on workshop on Broderie Anglaise and a presentation on “Wrapped in my dressing gown…” At-Home Attire for Mid-Nineteenth Century Gentlemen. Visit https://alhfam.org for additional information.
CLASS: Something for My Shoulders: Fichus, Pelerines and Mantles, Hot Springs, AR, July 14-15, 2019. These three garments begin with the same general shaping over the shoulders. From there they expand into a variety of accessories and outer garments. Fichus and pelerines can be made from fine lightweight fabrics, or from the same fabric as the dress. They can be used over a low-body dress for day or evening wear, or over a high-body dress to change the overall look. Mantles can be made from a wide variety of fabrics, from fine sheers and nets to medium weight wools. Each garment can be embellished in a variety of ways. The styles used in this class can be used from 1830-1870. Contact us for additional information. Limited availability.
CONFERENCE: Corsets & Cravats, Newberry, SC, August 2-4, 2019. The second annual conference offers a full weekend of classes, workshops, lectures, shopping, and social events. Carolann will present a lecture “Google is not a Synonym for Research”, a class on nineteenth century periodicals “More than a Fashion Magazine”, and a hands-on workshop on “Berlin Wool Work”. Complete information at www.corsetsandcravats.com
CLASS: Pretty, Practical Pasteboard. Belair Mansion, Bowie, MD, August 24, 2019. Mid-Victorian women enjoyed creating a variety of ‘novelties’ made from pasteboard covered with fabric. These practical, functional, and decorative novelties included needle books, scissors cases, decorative boxes, work baskets, watch pockets, and many other items. Participants may select from a variety of projects taken from period publications and original artifacts. Minimal sewing skills are required. All materials will be provided. Participants should bring a pair of utility scissors to cut pasteboard and a pair of sewing scissors to cut fabric. Contact us for additional information.
CLASS: Winter Accessories: Hooded Fichu, Muff and Mittens. Connecticut, November Turn-over Shawl, Wallingford, CT, November 9-10, 2019. Keep your head and hands warm this winter with these accessories based on original examples. The hooded fichu covers your head, neck, upper shoulders and chest. It is made from wool and accented with braidwork. The muff is made from wool or velvet, wadded with wool batting, and lined in silk or glazed cotton. Contrasting ruching embellishes the edges and flap of the muff. Over mittens made from warm wool fabric are cut and sewn and are worn over gloves to provide an extra layer of warmth. Contact us for additional information and registration.
BE SURE TO REGISTER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, MANY CLASSES FILL QUICKLY!
Please review each listing carefully for event location. We recommend making reservations at hotel, motel or bed & breakfast well in advance of the activity.
EVENT REGISTRATION INFORMATION
Please contact the Academy via phone or email and request a flyer containing class and registration information. Gift certificates are available! Payment can be by check, money order, VISA and MasterCard. Genteel Arts Academy reserves the right to cancel any class due to insufficient enrollment.
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could be in your area? We can come to you!
Do you wish a class or presentation
Take advantage of GENTEEL ARTS ACADEMY "ON THE ROAD"
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OF LECTURES AND SEMINARS PRODUCED BY THE ACADEMY
ON A ROTATING BASIS AND/OR BY POPULAR DEMAND
Period Construction Techniques
Digital Media Series
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Profile of the Senior Staff
Clothing historian Carolann Schmitt has been studying the clothing and needlework of Civil War era since 1968. She is a featured lecturer at conferences, living history events and historic sites throughout the country. Carolann is a board member and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Shippensburg University Fashion Archives and Museum (SUFAM) and has been a continuing education instructor for Harrisburg Area Community College. She is an active participant in many living history activities and is the past Chairperson of the Costume Committee of the North-South Skirmish Association. An accomplished seamstress and needlewoman, she and her students have won numerous awards for their authentic reproduction clothing in national and regional period costume competitions. Genteel Arts, LLC is a member of the Costume Society of America. Carolann is the President of Genteel Arts, LLC. Her email address is: cschmitt<at>genteelarts.com (Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
Don Schmitt has been actively involved in 19th century living history since 1968. In 1970 he was one of the three founding members of the 11th Pennsylvania Vol. Inf Regt. This unit remains active today in the Gettysburg area as a fife and drum corps and color guard. Prior to retirement at the end of 2013 Don was in the business information technology field for 30 years. Today he is active in the Gettysburg National Military Park volunteer program and also coordinates the auxiliary communications program at the Adams County Department of Emergency Services & 911 Center. Don provides marketing, business management and technical solutions for Genteel Arts, LLC. His email address is: dschmitt<at>genteelarts.com (Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
Carolann and Don participated in North-South Skirmish Association (N-SSA) events for over 40 years. Their member organization, Knap's Independent Battery E, Pa. Light Artillery, participates in live fire small arms, artillery and period costume competitions. They have also participated in Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) events which portrays Old West living history and competitive shooting for the period 1860-1898.
Carolann and Don are both fifth generation natives of Gettysburg and reside in the Gettysburg area.
Shippensburg University Fashion Archives & Museum
National Civil War Museum - Harrisburg, PA