Thank you Doris for drawing attention to this. I confess I have not
really examined the book very acutely since buying it new in 1973.
This blows my mind. I had been imagining that Gertrude Biederman was
cut in mold of others I knew in the era who were promoting
traditionalism in the form of reproducing point ground laces of the
late 19th century. It had not occurred to me that Biederman might be
espousing traditionalism in the form of making the most radical laces
of the Austrian Seccession movement. Was she affiliated with the
Wiener Werkstatte? How did she get the patterns? Did she derive the
working patterns herself from the drawings or by looking at the laces?
So many questions.
I can testify from personal experience that the attitude toward
intellectual property in those days was very different than it is now.
In my research through the early Bulletins there was a problem that
people were, in the spirit of sharing and good will, sharing patterns
that were designed by other people. At a certain point the publication
had to ask them to restrain their enthusiasm. There was also a
tendency to think that because lace was traditional, all patterns for
lace were traditional and part of some kind of folk wisdom, and like a
proverb or a fairy tale, in the public domain. Also, this was prior to
the copyright law that was enacted in 1978 which changed everything.
But, I am becoming quite interested in Gertrude Biederman.
Unfortunately, her book does not seem to be one that I have. (How
could that happen?) What was Gertrude Biederman's background?
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