Southern Ties – Jan. 24 thru April 5

Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections is a traveling exhibit that utilizes storytelling as a tool of remembrance and connection through the guise of the humble apron. Just as with every family’s best storyteller, the exhibit holds the attention of child to adult while piecing together the human experience, all at a languid pace, never in a rush to the end.

WestBatonRouge wout click here

January 24 through April 5, 2015 at the West Baton Rouge Museum

Touring since 2004, Apron Chronicles presents the American experience through 50 photographic portraits, apron memories and an outstanding collection of 100 vintage aprons. West Baton Rouge Museum curator, Angelique Bergeron, has added a local Louisiana touch to the exhibit by including collections of work aprons from chefs and blacksmiths, to a collection of aprons from the Port Allen Holy Family Church worn by women staging the annual St. Joseph’s Altar. In addition, LSU Textile Museum is loaning their display “Feed Sack Fashions” to be included in the Apron Chronicles exhibit.

Through the interpretation of the apron as more than just a domestic utility, the exhibit inspires us to recall our own apron memories and the lives of those who “tied one on…an apron, of course!”. In doing so, we find ourselves tied together more through our commonalities than differences.

Of all my apron projects,  Apron Chronicles is my greatest joy. That the humble apron should continue to bring into my life such bounty of trust and friendship is simply amazing.

The contributors to Apron Chronicles and their stories changed my life forever. I hope you, too, are so affected.

xo EllynAnne

Tennessee to Tie One On…

A year in the planning, Tennessee’s very first Apron Extravaganza promises to be an event to remember! Theresa Allan of the University of Tennessee’s Extension Offices and Sumner County’s fce ladies have put together a unique, two-day apron-love fest, and I’m going to be there!

ApronFlyer [640x480]

I’m always excited to see the aprons of a particular region and extra so here because the area’s apronistas and apronistos (a/k/a men who tie one on…an apron, of course!) will be displaying their domestic heirlooms and new creations in an


Here are the entry categories – I’ll need several camera batteries and a few memory chips to take photos of what I know will be an extraordinary display.


A ticket for this amazing event must be pre-purchased, so Chef Christopher knows just how many to cater to.

Apron Tickets

To purchase tickets and for further info, contact:

(615) 452-1423 or email:

There’s also an Apron Mall (!) where vendors will be set up and selling apron-theme goods.

Galatin is just miles outside of Nashville. If you’re anywhere close by or feeling like flying into Nashville and experiencing two days of apron love, I’d love to experience this incredible Apron Extravaganza with you


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Apron Chronicles at the Cowgirl Museum

Apron Chronicles is a large exhibit, comprised of 150 vintage aprons, 46 framed photographic portraits and accompanying storyboards. When hung, there isn’t always the space to show the “face” of Apron Chronicles, Miss Ada Florence Ashford. Fortunately, the Cowgirl Museum’s gallery layout allowed for Miss Ada’s portrait to greet guests upon their entrance to the exhibit. I was so thrilled to see Miss Ada in such a position of honor. Diana Vela is the museum’s exhibit’s registrar and curator – here we are at the portal to the galleryCowgirl_ea Diana [640x480]

Following months of conversation and preparation for my visit, I finally met Lauren Williams, Cowgirl’s research coordinator and artist “handler.”

Cowgirl_ea Lauren Diana 2 [640x480]

This is a photo of the exhibit, to the right of the entrance. From this perspective, everything looks so small, when in reality, the space is quite large and the exhibit fills every inch! What’s unique to this display is the vintage armoire, where aprons are hanging for visitors to try on.

Cowgirl_AC clothes closet [640x480]

Here’s a close-up. One side is mirrored, which also serves to reflect the exhibit on the back wall. A great idea, which I’ll be certain to pass along to future venues.

Cowgirl_AC clothes closet closeup [640x480]

Cowgirl also managed to assemble chef-signed aprons for an apron raffle-off, the proceeds to benefit the museum’s educational efforts.

Cowgirl_apron raffle [640x480]

Every museum and art center is unique, and Cowgirl is no exception. In this one photo, I tried to capture the incredibleness of the view from the second floor of the rotunda. The pictures of the women are actually 3-D glass portraits that change to new faces as you change position. I’ve never seen anything like this and I’ve not done justice to how awesome it is.

Cowgirl_rotunda luncheon setup [640x480]

The second floor is devoted to the most imaginative displays, each celebrating the women of the American West.

Cowgirl_display 1 [640x480]

Cowgirl_display 2 [640x480]

A new display is from Temple Grandin. She gave the museum her original drawing of the cattle ramp and one of her favorite shirts, which she embroidered herself. Immaculate, teeny stitches. Just beautiful.

Cowgirl_Temple Grandin [640x480]

Between the docents’ gathering , gallery talks, members pre-opening, the loveliest luncheon and my Apron Memories presentation, I met many of Ft. Worth’s apronistas. I’d hoped my path would cross with one such, Margaret Acton, who had written me earlier that she planned to attend the Friday event. Well, she made it, along with a box of her mother’s exquisite handwork. I’m posting Margaret’s story about her talented mom and more photos on my website’s homepage.

Cowgirl_lady with stuff [640x480]

If you have an apron or domestic arts-goods story and photos to share, please do so through my website. I’m so pleased to celebrate the handiwork of the women who helped us to become who we are today.


Tie One On…an apron, of course!

Apron Chronicles Crosses All Borders

It was this same time 6 years ago that I flew to Dallas for a meeting with The Women’s Museum. I’d read about TWM and was struck by the museum’s mission statement as complementary to my goals for Apron Chronicles. The result of that meeting was my exhibit’s national debut in Dallas in 2006 and TWM takeover of Apron Chronicles’ management. I still feel the need to pinch myself over this extraordinary good fortune! Over the years, I’ve worked with wonderful ehibit registrars, and anticipate an excellent relationship with Danielle Flores, the new registrar of just a few months.

The Women’s Museum has the most gorgeous interior. If you are ever in the Dallas area, you should not miss experiencing this venue. Here we are on the staircase, which appears suspended in air as it winds from the entry level to the top floors.

Apron Chronicles is 1 of 3 exhibits the museum manages – Lauren Green’s Thin and Annie Leibovitz’s Women. AC is in very good company! Regularly on tour, Annie’s exhibit is in-house for now and opening to the public this Friday. Although there’s a policy discouraging any camera use within the exhibit, Danielle allowed I might take this photo from a vantage that the camera’s flash wouldn’t intrude on the portraits.

The exhibit is like seeing the pages of Rolling Stone come alive, only in sizes like 4′ by 3′. It’s very cool. I loved it.
Today, I’m in Ft. Worth, readying for my first view of Apron Chronicles at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Later, I’ll be doing a docent tour and then a gallery talk and social time with members of Cowgirl.
While in my room typing up this post, the housekeeper popped in. She was wearing a service apron…lots of pockets and a rag looped through the waist ties, like a chef or someone in the food industry. A perfect audience to tell about the exhibit, or so I thought. Until I tried explaining the concept of an apron exhibit to someone with limited English skills. But I persevered, as did she, and together we concluded that after living here for years, she will visit a museum for the first time and take her daughter with her. Such is the magic of Apron Chronicles – it really is America’s exhibit and crosses the barriers that can exist between museums and the general working public. The second thing the housekeeper and I concluded: I need to work on my Spanish!
It’s sunny in Texas and I’m thinking of taking a walk, which may or not have me ending up at Anthropology, which is very close by. Can I resist? That I even asked that question is ridiculous.
Tie One On…an apron, of corse!

Tie One On…at the National Cowgirl Museum

Two days until I leave for Ft. Worth and the opening of Apron Chronicles at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame!

AC cover (Medium)

Scheduled events for the opening include

Thursday, Jan 6: 5:30 to 7:00: Members-only event with EllynAnne, Writer and Apron Curator. Gallery talk and book signing. Wine and cheese reception. And…

Friday, Jan. 7: 11:30 to 1:00: Luncheon, catered by G-Texas catering, Apron Memories program with EllynAnne, booksigning. Members: 15.00, Non-members 25.00. Price includes: lunch and program, parking, admission to the entire Museum.

For reservations: contact Jennifer Siegel. Call (817) 509-8664 or email

I always look forward to that first moment when I enter the exhibition space and see Apron Chronicles in its new location, for the displaying of the exhibit is left to the instincts and interpretation of the venue. I’ve seen photographs of the exterior of “Cowgirl,” but the interior will be a wonderful surprise. Tingling with anticipation.

The exhibit is showing in Ft. Worth for three months – to see Apron Chronicles in person is to be touched forever.

Still time to enter to win Jodi Kahn’s latest bit of craft genius. click here to put your name in the cookie jar. Drawing late, late Tuesday evening. Winner posted Wednesday a.m.

Giveaway_Jodi Kahn_craft book [640x480]


Tie One On…(an apron, of course) in Ft. Worth!!

Aprons at the Fringe

Back in the spring, I received an invitation to participate in an apron exhibit as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Arts Festival. The invite was proferred by Oliver “Ollie” Herbert of Flavours Holidays, first via email and then with a follow up telephone call – a very exciting start to that day, I must say!
Vague on Edinburgh’s location as Scotland or Ireland (it’s the former) and ignorant as to the Fringe Arts Festival, I stammered about as to how flattered I was to be contacted, but the distance was just too great to consider, not to mention the expense, and in my mind, that was that. In a most melodious and sooo smooth brogue, Ollie then described the Fringe as a month-long arts festival with world-wide participants and a global attendance that I could be a part of, which in itself would be a memorable experience.
Tempted but realistic, I let the notion go for good. And pretty much forgot about it until I received an Ollie email with this announcement:
Flavours of Italy will be a part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year! We are exploring the history of the apron, a cook’s best friend! We’ve scoured the globe to put together the story of this kitchen commodity,from Adam and Eve to “Desperate Housewives”!

and this photo:

And this link to the Edinburgh Festival’s website, where I read Fringe is the biggest arts festival in the world, with something for everyone…. what???? In fact, it’s the number-one tourist attraction in the whole of Britain… It is???? Then watched this video:

And now I cannot stop watching it. Does this not look like the most fun festival in the world?!!!! And to think… It’s killin’ me I let my normally non-functioning left brain dictate to my creative spirit the unfeasability of even trying to figure how to get to Edinburgh. There’s a lesson here, but I’m too pained to figure it out right now.
For all of us not attending the Fringe, I’ve written Ollie with a plea that Flavours keep us updated with video on a regular basis, including a virtual tour of the apron show. Living it vicariously will actually be more than just good enough. Best to have even a taste than nary a nibble. Which perhaps is the lesson.
Tie One On…an apron, of course!