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THANKS to everyone who had participated in the annual Civilian Symposium and
The Ladies & Gentlemen of the 1860's Conferences through all the years!
Website revised June 12, 2021
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, needlework and period culture. Students select from well 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. Select online seminars are also available. Please contact the Academy for further details concerning scheduling presentations, workshops, classes and online seminars 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 2021 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.
Online seminars also available, please call for more information.
We suggest registering for any listed event well in advance of the activity date as many fill up quickly.
2021 GENTEEL ARTS SCHEDULE
* Check location carefully, the 2021 schedule includes classes, presentations and conferences at various locations around the US *
Most 2020 events have rescheduled to 2021 due to the pandemic.
Please check our schedule below for updates and additions.
CLASS: Personal Linen: Chemisettes, Collars, Cuffs, Undersleeves and Oversleeves. Hot Springs, AR, July 10-11, 2021. The 2021 Genteel Arts Academy class in Hot Springs, AR focuses on items that can be used to change the overall appearance of a garment: chemisettes, collars, cuffs, undersleeves and oversleeves c.1830-1870. Participants will learn the fashion history of each item, how the styles changed over four decades in the mid-nineteenth century, when and where the items were worn. You will view primary sources - written, visual, and extant garments - as you learn about the fabrics, trimmings, and notions that were used to make these accessories and the techniques used to create them. Join us and learn how appropriate accessories can improve your visual impression! Contact us for additional information.
CONFERENCE: Corsets & Cravats, Newberry, SC, July 30-August 1, 2021. The third annual conference will be offered virtually with a full range of seminars. Carolann will teach a class on ďSheer Pleasure: Transparent Accessories 1830-1870Ē. Complete information at www.corsetsandcravats.com .
CLASS: Sleeves in St. Joseph, MN, September 18-19, 2021, 2021. One of the easiest ways to vary the look of a garment is to change the style of the sleeves. Participants will learn how to identify basic sleeve shapes, analyze images to determine the cut and construction of sleeves, and how to combine elements of various styles to create sleeves that are characteristic of the period. You will also learn period construction techniques used in making sleeves, how to measure for a comfortable fit, and how to insert sleeves into the proper position in the armscye. You may make sleeves for a new dress or a dress that is in progress; make samples of different sleeve styles for your future reference; draft custom-fitted paper patterns of different sleeve styles; or any combination of any of the above! Contact us for additional information and registration.
CLASS: Accessories for the Waist, Hamden, CT, November 6-7, 2021. Join us and learn how to make a variety of accessories for your waistline: shaped waists and belts (aka Swiss waist, Medici waist, and similar styles), straight belts, belts with attached jockeys and peplums, sashes, sash ends attached to belts, bows, and rosettes. Original belts, waists, and sashes will be available for examination. 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.
Please contact the Academy via phone or email to request more information for classes/seminars 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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Do you wish a class or presentation could be in YOUR area? We can come to you!
Take advantage of GENTEEL ARTS ACADEMY "ON THE ROAD" !
Your group or historical site can sponsor a Genteel Arts Academy class, or series of classes, in YOUR area. Contact us at info<at>genteelarts.com or call 717-624-5979 for details and available dates. (Please be sure to replace the <at> with @ in email addresses before sending.)
Lectures & Presentations
Introduction to Textiles
Textiles for Menís Clothing
Fundamentals of Clothing for Women
Fundamentals of Clothing for Children
Fundamentals of Clothing for Men
More Than a Fashion Magazine
Altering a Pattern for Fit
Altering a Pattern for Style
Fur Garments and Accessories
The Artifice of Dressing Well
Menís Dressing Gowns, Caps and Slippers
Dressing for Inclement Weather
Sleuthing at the Seams
The Difference is in the Details
Hands-on Seminars & Workshops
Period Construction Techniques
Essential Stitches and Seams I
Essential Stitches and Seams II
Essential Stitches and Seams III
Nitty-Gritty Details of Dress Construction
Gauging and Pleating
Trimmings and Embellishments
Introduction to Sewing for Children
Altering a Bodice for Fit
Altering a Bodice for Style
Ball Gown Bodice
Basque Bodice - Two Versions
Fichus and Pelerines
Collar and Cuffs
Belts and Sashes
Medici and Other Shaped Waists
Purses and Reticules
Covering a Fan
Ladyís Neckties and Cravats
Silk and Net Mantle
Ladyís Sack Jacket
Marie Stuart Hood
French-Cut Shirt with Bib
Unlined Summer Vest
Unlined Linen Sack Coat
Digital Media Seminars/Workshops
From Wetplates to Megapixels: Digital examination of photos for the historian
Microsoft Powerpoint for Historians
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 was 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 and the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM). 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 thirty 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.
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